Article in relation to childcare costs and the new bill of 16 hours a week work will be eligible for childcare support. But due to the economy the government has already reduced childcare support from 80% to 70% of weekly costs, as part of spending cuts
- From 2013 low-income parents who work less than 16 hours a week will be eligible for childcare support, when the “universal credit” is introduced.
- A survey by two charities, Save the Children and the Daycare Trust, in September suggested parents spent more than a third of their incomes on childcare.
- At present, families who qualify for help with childcare costs can get credits to cover up to 70% of the weekly costs, capped at £122.50 for one child and £210 for two, but only if they work more than 16 hours a week.
- discussions with childcare providers – such as nurseries and playgroups – about selling more childcare by the hour rather than in “blocks”.
“If we are going to offer this across the hours with universal credit, maybe it is time for many more childcare providers to actually start looking at providing childcare by the hour rather than by the block, which tends to be much more the case in some other European countries. That would start to have an effect in bringing down the overall cost of childcare to many people concerned.”
‘it would not be easy for providers to charge by the hour – and could threaten their “viability”. I’m very aware that for a lot of childcare providers already, there are gaps in their provision – for example fewer people want afternoon places and that sends the whole financing of the provider out of kilter.” ‘More flexible’
Labour committee member, Sheila Gilmore
- HM Revenue and Customs say 493,000 families receive the childcare element of working tax credit and receive an average of £69 a week help with costs.
- Labour say Mr Duncan Smith’s plan to axe the 16 hours minimum is “smoke and mirrors” as the government has already reduced childcare support from 80% to 70% of weekly costs, as part of spending cuts.