Can You Reduce Your Cost of Childcare?
Don’t be one of the parents who are missing out. 👶
In a new survey from Killik & Co., it has been revealed that despite the government adopting a new deal for parents with an income of less than £100k, almost half the mums and dads questioned had no idea about the savings they could be making.
So what’s the deal? As of this year, working parents are entitled to an extra 15 hours per week of free childcare for their 3 and 4 year olds. This is in addition to the 15 free hours previously on offer. You can use these hours to fund nursery places, childminders or playgroups.
In addition to this, a further £2,000 could be saved if you access the Tax Free Childcare Scheme. This is a plan whereby the government will pay 20% of your childcare costs (including au pairs - yay!) for children under 12. To qualify, both parents must be earning more than £120 a week and less than 100k per year. It could be smart to swap from childcare vouchers offered by your employer to this deal, and it’s especially good for the self-employed, of course, who aren’t entitled to childcare vouchers at all.
Why should I care?
Because unless you’re a billionaire or a martian (or a martian billionaire), you’ll have noticed that childcare costs are particularly astronomical in the UK. The total cost of raising a child is thought to be almost £200,000, and the Killik report reveals that this figure is actually deterring people from having more children. And in recent years more and more women are down-sizing (and therefore down-grading) their professional lives to meet the cost of childcare. Quite simply, they are working less so that they don’t have to pay for more childcare, and get caught in that trap of seeing most of their wages go to the nanny. 40% of the 2,000 people questioned have had to reduce their working hours for this reason.
Are you one of the only 31% of respondents who are using 15 hours a week free childcare? Or the tiny 21% who are planning to use the full 30? If not, get with the program. And tell your mummy friends. Because when it comes to the cost of keeping your little darlings in cashmere cardies from Bonpoint (err, we mean M&S vests), every little helps.