Childcare FAQ

childcare faq

How much will childcare cost me?

The average cost of a full-time nursery place for a child under two is £141 per week, and costs for children over two tend to be less. However, these costs can vary depending on areas, types of childcare etc. Some nurseries charge up to Ј350 per week.

I’ve gone back to work - can I get help towards the cost of childcare?

You may be eligible for financial assistance, through Tax Credits; contact the Tax Credit helpline on 0854 300 3900 to find out more. Iif you are already receiving tax credits, the deadline to renew your claim is 31st July 2016. You'll receive a renewal pack before the end of June, and it's important that you submit your claim as soon as possible to avoid the rush and make sure it reaches the HMRC office on time. You can do this quickly and conveniently online by visiting: www.gov.uk/managetaxcredits.

Some employers also have crиche or nursery places available, or may be able to help with childcare vouchers, view the Childcare Vouchers website for further information on this scheme.

I’m a student – am I entitled to any help with childcare costs?

Financial help for students is mainly available through your place of study – such as college or university. Parents who want to start a course should check with the college/university, to find out what childcare provision and financial assistance is available. There are several types of funds and loans available, depending on your age and circumstances, you may want to visit the Government website to see what you may be entitled to.

What is registered childcare?

Childcare which has to be registered with the government regulatory body Ofsted. This includes all services for children under the age of eight provided within a group setting or in the carer’s own home including nurseries, holiday play schemes, and childminders. In becoming registered, these services have to meet the required national standards.

A friend will be looking after my children whilst I’m at work. Do they need to be registered?

Yes, if they will be looking after children from their (the carer’s) own home, and receiving payment for it, as this is classified as childminding. Only relatives of the child are exempt from being registered. However, if they are not receiving any form of payment for the childcare and are doing it as a favour to you, then they would not need to be registered.

I’m unhappy with the service received from my child’s nursery/childminder – who should I approach about this?

At first, you should talk to the person/people in charge of running the nursery or the childminder directly, to hear their explanation and try and come to some sort of resolution. If you still feel unhappy with the service, contact the Ofsted complaints line – 0845 601 4772. They will follow up any complaints made, going as far as to de-register a service where quality is not meeting the national standards required. If you are worried about your child’s safety, remove them from the care of the childcare provider immediately and get in touch with the child protection team at your local social services’ department, to inform them of your concerns 

How we can help you

If you would like support and advice, you can talk to one of our Family Support Workers by calling our confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222. You can also share experiences and advice with other parents on our Forums. Family Lives is here for you and you can contact us about any family issue, big or small.

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