Have you planned your childcare for summer 2023?
With brighter nights upon us, many working parents are starting to think about their summer childcare plans. Many parents will rely on formal childcare – such as day nurseries, childminders or summer schemes – to cover the time that children would normally spend in school. This additional childcare can put a significant strain on household finances, this year more than ever as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
Don’t let cost prevent you from exploring an option
There is help available with the cost of registered childcare, which can include some summer schemes, as well as year round providers such as registered childminders, out of school clubs and day nurseries. For example, parents may use Universal Credit, Tax-Free Childcare, Childcare Vouchers or Tax Credits to help meet their bills. Ahead of the summer now is a good time to make sure your family is receiving all the financial support you are entitled to.
Increased support with childcare costs through Universal Credit
In the Spring budget the Chancellor announced an increase in support for childcare costs through Universal Credit that applies for families across the UK from summer 2023.
The maximum support that can be received towards childcare costs from this summer onwards will be £951 per month for one child and £1630 for two or more children. This represents an increase of 47% over the current maximum support.
Finding suitable childcare
The Family Support NI website www.familysupportni.gov.uk is a key resource for families looking for registered childcare and includes a search function for all registered childcare providers across Northern Ireland.
Local councils and the Education Authority may also provide additional information over the coming months regarding the summer schemes that they are running for school age children.
Alternative working arrangements
In order to manage holiday childcare parents often need to request additional time off, paid or unpaid, or request to change their working pattern.
Flexible working arrangements can take various forms for example part-time working, compressed hours (working your agreed hours over fewer days), job sharing or term-time only working. Discuss these options with your employer to try and find an arrangement that suits you both.
To find out more about what financial support you are entitled to with your summer childcare, contact our Family Benefits Advice Service for free, impartial and confidential advice on Freephone 0800 028 3008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.