Photo: Kay Ingram, LEBC
Working parents trying to organise childcare during the summer holidays often miss out on two Government backed schemes to help them to do so, LEBC, the national financial planner advises.
Kay Ingram, director of public policy at LEBC said: “Many working parents rely on family members to help fill the gaps when they can’t take time off work. If those family members are not working themselves, are over 16 but under State pension age, they may be eligible for a boost to their State pension.”
“The Specified Childcare Credit can be claimed to top up the carers National Insurance credits for State Pension. This can increase their entitlement up to the maximum of £164.35 per week.”
To be eligible the child must be under age 12. The working parent must be eligible to receive child benefit and be working and paying National Insurance, as an employee or self-employed person. Those who have waived child benefit to avoid the tax payable, once earnings exceed £50,099, can also claim this credit by applying for child benefit but then waiving the payment of it.
Ingram adds: “The Government estimate that 100,000 individuals are eligible for this benefit, but so far only 19,000 have claimed. Those who have missed out can backdate claims to 2011. The form required, CA 9176, is on the Government website.”
Another way of keeping the kids occupied is to send them to clubs and organised activities or a registered childminder. Many schools and clubs have registered to be eligible for the Tax Free Childcare scheme which replaced childcare vouchers. This is available to working parents in addition to 30 hours of free childcare. It is available for children under age 12, or under age 17, if disabled. To be eligible both parents must be working and must each earn £125 per week or more. Those with earnings in excess of £100,000 from one parent or the partner of a parent are ineligible for this benefit. For every £8 paid by the parent the Government tops this up to £10. Up to £10,000 per year can be paid in to a Tax Free Childcare account which means up to £2,000 per year is paid by the Government, in quarterly instalments of up to £500. It can be used to fund care and activities with nannies, child minders, schools and clubs which have registered under the Government scheme.
“Hopefully most working parents will also get some time off to enjoy the long hot summer and some quality time with their children,” Ingram says.