As a mother of three, I know more than anybody how expensive childcare can be these days. Finding the necessary childcare for your little ones can often be a seriously difficult task, however don’t stress. I am here to offer you some top tips for keeping your childcare costs down to an absolute minimum.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Getting family involved could be your most cost effective form of childcare. Often parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings are only too happy to help out between themselves, and there could even be some financial benefits in it for them too. Did you know that many working-age grandparents can claim National Insurance credits for looking after their descendants. So looking after your babies means a better pension!
Know what Government schemes are available to you
Some parents will be eligible for help from the government. Your employer may also be able to help you with childcare costs using childcare vouchers or other schemes. The voucher scheme is a great way for working parents to save £1000’s on tax each year.You can get up to £55 a week from childcare vouchers, depending on how much you earn and when you joined the scheme.
Change your working pattern
Changing your working pattern could be another effective way of slashing your costs. You are within your rights to request flexible working. This means you and your employer should try and find a way of working that suits you both. For example you and your partner could adjust your working hours to go part -time or flexi – time so that you can work around your family commitments. Anyone who has worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more has the right to ask if they can work flexibly, and the request should be seriously considered by your employer.
Claim your 15 hours free childcare a week
Some toddlers and all children aged 3 and four are entitled to 15 hours a week free childcare. It is best to enrol your child as early as possible to avoid your chosen nursery not having any places left.
You can find out which free childcare places are available near you here.