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National lockdown: Stay at home

Help with costs

Critical workers looking for childcare

If you are a critical (key) worker who is looking for childcare, our team will be willing to help you. Please email the following details to eeac@staffordshire.gov.uk:

  • Your name, contact information and service area you work;
  • Age of child;
  • Postcode and area they would like to look for childcare;

Any household that has a parent who is a non-critical (key) worker is strongly advised to keep children at home (even if one parent is a key worker) as advised by government.

2 year olds

Eligible families can get  funded childcare for 15 hours a week for the equivalent of 38 weeks per year (or 570 hours per year). Only households meeting the earnings criteria are eligible. This is known as Think2 in Staffordshire.

3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds can get  funded childcare for 15 hours a week for the equivalent of 38 weeks per year (or 570 hours per year). Your child does not have to attend full-time or even part-time to qualify for this.

30 Hour Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

Some families who meet the earnings criteria could get an extra 15 hours of funded childcare.

Childcare Choices

Find out more about  help with childcare costs and what is best for your family through HMRC's new and easy to use website.

Information is available on new schemes:

  • 30 Hours Funded Childcare and making an application.
  • Tax Free Childcare.

Parents will also be able to use an online calculator to find out about the best savings for your family.

Tax Free Childcare 

The government has rolled out the new Tax Free Childcare scheme. Working families can make savings on childcare costs.

This means you will not need to register through your employer or a voucher company to make savings. You will be able to register online and save up to £2000 per year, per child. Every £8 you pay in, the government will top it up with an extra £2.00.  Find out more

Working Tax Credits

Families who claim Working Tax Credits could receive additional help with their childcare costs. This could be for up to:

  • £122.50 per week for 1 child or
  • £210 per week for 2 or more children.

Universal Credit

You could also get help with your childcare costs if you are on Universal Credit.

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers is money an employee pays into the scheme via their employer and is deducted from the salary. You do not pay tax or national insurance on the payments and this will is the saving.

This scheme is now closed to new applicants unless:

  • your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
  • you stayed with the same employer and they continued to run the scheme
  • you do not take an unpaid career break of longer than a year

But any employees who were paying into a Childcare Vouchers before 4th October 2018 can continue with the scheme.

Other options available instead of Childcare Vouchers is Tax Free Childcare.

Help while you study

Parents under 20

Are you a parent aged under 20 years? Are you studying for a publicly funded course at sixth form or college? You might get help with the costs of registered childcare through the Care to Learn Scheme.

Call the Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 for more information.

Discretionary Learner Support

Are you are a parent aged 19 years or over and studying for an NVQ, BTEC or PGCE? You could get help with childcare costs through the Discretionary Learner Support Fund.

You would apply for this through your college. How much you get depends on your circumstances.

Childcare Grant

Are you a parent in full time higher education? You can apply for help with childcare costs through the Childcare Grant scheme. You could get up to 85% of your costs paid. Any help you receive will be on top of your student finance and you do not have to pay it back.

Further information is available for the childcare grant and how to apply to Student Finance England.

Further information

If you need any further information, please get in contact.

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