Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Hello and welcome to the Pennies 4 Parents Blog!

I have set up this blog as a handy resource for parents to help them find out about the money matters which affect them once little people come along.

With the average cost of bringing up a child until his or her 21st birthday at a staggering £270,000, it can be an expensive time! 

As an experienced payroll administrator, I’ve been dealing with Maternity and Paternity payments for over 11 years so I hope my little guides to getting the most out of what you are entitled to will be useful. 

Please do leave your comments and requests for blogs on the things which matter most to you.

Take care.
Claire x

Help With Childcare Costs

Going back to work is daunting enough without the added stresses of the costs involved.  Luckily, for lots of people, there is help available.

As long as your childcare provider is Ofsted registered, you could be entitled to help in the form of the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit or the Employer Childcare Voucher Scheme.

Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit
If you have an annual household income of below £40,000 you may qualify for these.  A maximum of 70% of total childcare costs may be claimed in some circumstances.
To find out if you qualify and how to claim visit:

Employer Childcare Voucher Scheme
Some employers offer a childcare voucher scheme (you must check that your child carer accepts them).  This is where some of your childcare costs are deducted straight from your wages before you pay tax and national insurance on them.  The maximum you can be paid in this way is £55 a week or £243 per month.  However, these may affect your entitlement to tax credits.
For more information on the vouchers and how they work visit:

If you have access to both of the above, it is essential that you check which one will be of most benefit to you financially. 
You can check this at:

Free Early Years Places for 3 and 4 year olds
All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday).  
Free nursery education can take place in nurseries, playgroups, preschools or at registered childminders.
For more information about free nursery education in your area, contact your local council.