Where to start....
Choosing the right childcare or Early Education for your child is a huge step for you and your family. There are lots of different childcare support options across Monmouthshire for you to choose from.
You may qualify for help towards the costs of childcare if you use registered childcare.
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) is responsible for the registration and regulation of all childcare in Wales including childminders, day nurseries, playgroups, after schoo clubs and holiday care. The majority of childcare in Monmouthshire is registered with CSSIW, however, there are some that are not. A childcare setting is not required to register with CSSIW if they run for less than two hours per day. You can request the CSSIW registration number directly from your childcare provider or from the Family Information Service on 01633 644527.
The following information provides sources of help with childcare costs. Only general information is given, as eligibility depends on circumstances and income. Parents therefore need to liaise with the contacts given to receive more detailed information on accessing this financial help.
Child Tax Credit (CTC)
Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a government payment to support families with children (paid on top of Child Benefit). You do not have to be working to claim CTC. Please note that eligibility is income related (there is an income upper limit).
Who’s it for?
- Parents aged 16+ who are responsible for one or more chid / young person and who normally lives with you
- Parents who are not subject to immigration control
- Parents who are ordinarily residents in the UK
How long can you claim for?
- A child until 1st Sept after their 16th Birthday (sometimes longer if a 16 or 17 year is engaged in approved training).
- A young person up to their 20th birthday, providing they are in full time education (including A Levels and up to NVQ level 3) or approved training course before their 19th birthday.
How much can I receive?
- The amount you receive in CTC is dependant on annual household income and on how many children you have. The higher your income, the lower amount of tax credits you receive.
- You may also be able to claim extra tax credits if your child has a disability.
Who should make the claim?
- If you are married, living together or in a civil partnership, you will need to make a joint claim and decide who receives the money.
- Single parents will need to make a single claim and decide which parent receives the amount. If you are unsure which parents should receive the tax credits, HMRC will decide based on who they believe has the main responsibility for the child or young person.
For more information on eligibility please contact:
Tax Credits Helpline Tel: 0845 300 3900 or visit: www.hmrc.gov.uk/childcare
Working Tax Credit (WTC)
- Working Tax Credit is financial support for working parents. It also includes an element that helps parents with the financial cost of approved and registered childcare. You can also apply for Working Tax Credit if you do not have children
- You cannot receive Working Tax Credit if you are not working.
Elements of Working Tax Credit:
Basic element - This is paid to the person who qualifies
Lone parent element - This is paid for single working parents
Couples element - This is paid to couples; however WTC is paid to one person who is working 16 hours or more a week. If you are both working 16 hours per week or more, you must choose who should receive it
30 hours per week element - Couples with at lease one child can claim the 30 hours element providing they are both working a combined 30 hours per week providing one of them is working 16 hours or more a week
Disability element - For those of a disability of severe disability
50 plus element - For those aged 50+ and starting to work after a period of receiving certain benefits
Childcare element - For those who spend money on registered or approved childcare (see further details below)
Who can claim Working Tax Credit?
Those who are employed or self employed (either on their own or in a business partnership who:
Usually work 16 hours or more a week and are paid for that work and expect to work for at least 4 weeks and who are:
Aged 16 or over and responsible for at least one child
Aged 16 or over and disabled
Aged 25 or over and usually work at least 30 hours a week
Aged 50 or over and are starting work after receiving certain benefits for at least 6 months and working at least 16 hours per week
Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit:
The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is financial help towards the costs of your childminder or childcare. This is paid to the person who is mainly responsible for the child or children, alongside payments of Child Tax Credit and other elements of Working Tax Credit.
The Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit is dependent on household income. Amounts received may differ, however, due to the number of children you have or if you have a child/ren with a disability.
How to claim?
- If you work 16 hours or more and pay for registered or approved childcare you may be eligible for help towards your childcare costs.
- To check if you are eligible call the Tax Credits Helpline on 0845 300 3900.
How much can you get?
- If you qualify, you could receive up to 70% of your childcare costs. You can only claim the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit if you are in receipt of Working Tax Credit.
Are there any limits?
- Yes – there is a limit of £175 in costs per week for one child and £300 for two or more children. Any childcare costs that you pay in excess of these amounts are not used in the calculation.
- Therefore. You could claim £122.50 (70% of £175 for one child) or £210 (70% of £300 for two children) towards your childcare costs per week. Childcare costs exceeding this amount are payable by you.
How long can you claim for?
You can claim for any child in registered or approved childcare up to the Saturday following 1st September after their 15th birthday, or the following Saturday 1st September after a child’s 16th birthday if the child is: registered blind, or has been taken off the blind register within the last 28 weeks before you complete the form, or you receive Disability Living Allowance for that child. Please note that the total amount received may depend on your income. The lower the income, the more tax credits you may get.
For more information on eligibility please contact: Tax Credits Helpline Tel: 0845 300 3900 or visit: www.hmrc.gov.uk/childcare. You may also find some useful information in our Financial Support section.
Childcare Vouchers are a government scheme that is offered through employers and allows working parents to pay their childcare costs from a pre-tax salary.
Childcare Vouchers are administered through a voucher company (commonly through a ‘salary sacrifice’ scheme), and could help you save up to £1,000* per year in tax and National Insurance contributions.
Childcare Vouchers are taken from your salary before tax and National Insurance payments. The amount is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions up to a value of £55 per week. If you are a high rate tax-payer, the amount that is exempt may be lower.
The childcare paid for in your Childcare Vouchers must be registered or approved
Who can use them?
- If your employer offers a voucher scheme and you are paying for registered or approved childcare, you could use Childcare Vouchers.
- Basic Rate tax payers who use Childcare Vouchers can save up to £1,000 per year in tax & National Insurance contributions. However, Higher Rate tax payers receive a lower saving up to £624. Childcare costs exceeding the exempt amount per week are payable by you.
Can Childcare Vouchers affect payments from the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit?
- Yes. If you decide to use Childcare Vouchers, this will affect the amount of tax credits you receive if you are claiming the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit (subject to individual circumstances). You won’t be able to claim the same amount in both Childcare Vouchers & tax credits.
- Generally, families may benefit from using either Childcare Vouchers or claiming tax credits.
- To see whether it is more beneficial for you to use Childcare Vouchers or claim the Childcare Element of Working Tax Credit please use the online calculator
How do I find out more about Childcare Vouchers?
- Contact your employer to ask if they use a Childcare Voucher scheme. Contact the HR department or HR office / manager
- Childcare Vouchers are widely recognised by registered childcare providers as a form of payment.
Early Education Funding for 3 to 4 year olds
What is a Funded Early Education Place?
- Monmouthshire County Council provides free part time Early Education for 3 and 4 year olds. The earliest your child can start nursery is the term following their 3rd birthday, subject to availability.
- Monmouthshire has 11 Nursery classes attached to primary schools. These offer free part-time Early Education, i.e either a morning or afternoon session (2.5 hours) if available.
Find more information about Nursery Admissions and Early Education Funding here.
Can my child receive funding at a childcare setting?
Yes – some playgroups, cylchoedd meithrin and private day nurseries are registered with Estyn as Early Education Providers. Monmouthshire Local Authority can fund your child’s placement at these settings on a part-time basis for a maximum of 12.5 hours per week. (5 sessions of 2.5 hours each provided that each session is on a different day.) Where a child attends a private nursery, parents will be responsible for any additional payment over and above the funding allocated by the LA. The current rate of payment is £6.50 per session.
Help from Jobcentre Plus
If you are a parent/lone parent and looking for employment, Jobcentre Plus can advise you of benefits that you may be entitled to. Parent Advisors can also provide you with information such as help with childcare costs while you attend job interviews or undertake approved training. For more information contact your local Jobcentre Plus on 0845 6043719 or visit www.direct.gov.uk.
Childcare Grants for Students
The childcare grant is for students in Higher Education (those in Further Education are not eligible) with dependent children aged under 15 years (or 17 if they have special educational needs). This includes students who are lone parents, students married to other students, or students whose husband or wife is either on a low income or is disabled and unable to work.
Full-time students undertaking courses of higher education for example degree or HND, with dependent children in registered or approved childcare. Part-time students undertaking a higher education course will also be able to access a grant. You cannot get this grant if you or your husband or your wife, or partner, receive the Childcare Element of the Working Tax Credit.
How much can I receive?
- The Childcare Grant may help with up to 85% of your childcare costs during term time and holidays. The amount you receive may depend on your household income, the cost of your childcare and the number of children you have. You can only receive the grant for registered or approved childcare.
- Please note that if your childcare provider receives Early Education funding for your three or four year old, this will reduce the amount of childcare grant you will receive.
- If you claim Income Support or Housing Benefit, the Jobcentre Plus or local Housing Benefit Office should not take account of any payments you receive through the Childcare Grant.
- The Childcare Grant does not need to be paid back.
To find out more information about the Childcare Grant or any other grants for students then contact the Council’s Student Finance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monmouthshire Family Information Service is not responsible for the content of external websites. Links are for information and purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of the services offered. Please contact the provider to ensure information is accurate and up-to-date. Eligibility is subject to personal circumstances and parents are advised to contact the numbers indicated to check criteria. These are the providers and services that Monmouthshire FIS are aware of at this time and by no means are exhaustive.