2 July 2019

There’s no doubt that childcare costs are rising.  New research from Coram Family and Childcare found that parents now pay an average of £127 a week (£6,600 a year) for a part-time nursery place. In inner London, costs rise to £175 a week or £9,100 a year. 

It’s more important than ever that salons and barbershops understand what financial help their employees may be entitled to

Hilary Hall, NHF/NBF chief executive says, “It’s more important than ever that salons and barbershops understand what financial help their employees may be entitled to.  At a time when there’s a real shortage of qualified and experienced stylists, barbers and beauty therapists, the last thing salons want is to lose good staff because rising childcare costs make returning to work unaffordable.  Schemes such as Universal Credit and free childcare places are there to help.” says Hilary Hall, NHF/NBF chief executive.

 

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is currently being introduced in stages across the UK.  Those who are eligible to receive this benefit may also be able to claim back up to 85% of childcare costs.  The maximum is capped at £646 per month for one child, or £1,108 for two or more children, and you must use a registered childcare provider.  You may be able to get Universal Credit if you are on a low income and have less than £16,000 savings. 

Tax-free childcare

The government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme is worth up to £2,000 a year to eligible parents.  To qualify each parent must be:

  • over 21 and working;
  • earning an average of at least £120 per week; and
  • employed or self-employed. 

A parent may also be eligible if they have a partner who gets benefits such as Carers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit.  

Under the scheme, the government makes a 20% contribution to childcare, so for every £8 paid into the scheme by parents, the government adds an extra £2 (up to £2,000 per child or £4,000 if disabled). 

Hilary added, “Parents of three and four-year-olds may also be able to get up to 30 hours free childcare (1,140 hours a year), although you may have to pay for extra costs such meals, nappies and trips out.”