As schools break up children will be looking forward to the long holiday but working parents may be less enthusiastic about finding childcare and activities to keep them occupied. Organising childcare can be expensive and tricky. Here are two Government backed schemes to help working parents and other family members who provide childcare.
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 or studying full time themselves, are over 16 but under State pension age, they may be eligible for a boost to their State pension.
A little-known benefit, the Specified Adult Childcare Credit, is available and can be claimed to top up the carer’s National Insurance credits for State pension. This can increase their entitlement by up to £250 per year for every year’s credit claimed until they have a full state pension which is currently £168.60 per week.
To be eligible the child must be under age 12. The working parent must be eligible to receive child benefit (including those who have waived payment of it) and be working and paying national insurance, as an employee or self-employed person. Applications need to be made from October in the tax year following the one the claim is for.
The Government estimate that 100,000 individuals are eligible for this benefit, but so far only 20% have claimed . Those who have missed out can backdate claims to 2011, full backdating over the last 8 years could be worth up to £2,000 of extra annual state pension. The form required, CA 9176, is on the Government website.
Clubs and Activities
Another way of keeping the kids occupied is to send them to clubs and organised activities or a registered childminder. Many schools, clubs and activity centres 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 into the account the Government tops this up to £10. Up to £10,000 per year can be paid into 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. Anyone can pay into the account, so it is also a good way for grandparents or others to help with the cost of childcare.
Funds in the account can be used to fund care and activities with, nannies, child minders, schools and clubs, holiday activity schemes which have registered under the Government scheme.
The gender pension gap leaves women retiring on around a fifth of the pension of men on average , one cause of this is the career breaks taken by women while caring for family. By making childcare more affordable, these schemes enable women to stay in the workforce for longer and provide additional support for relatives who enable them to do so. To find out more about how to avoid the Gender Pension Gap trap download our free guide or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Public Policy, LEBC
LEBC Group Ltd is not responsible for accuracy and may not share the author’s views. Tax rates and allowances may change in future.
 House of Commons Library written questions and answers 27 June 2018.
 Insuring Women’s Futures, Chartered Insurance Institute, October 2018.
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