Help with fees

Need help with your childcare fees?


Here are a few handy tips about how you can get help with your childcare fees.

As well as the information we have provided you can go to HMRC Childcare Choices https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

 

Childcare Choices

  • Early Education Entitlement
  • Tax Free Childcare Scheme
  • Help from Employers
  • Child tax credit
  • Working tax credit

 

Early Education Entitlement is funded childcare for 3 and 4 year olds funded by the government. This is a universal offer, which means it is available for all and there is no eligibility criteria to be met. We are registered to receive the Funded Early Education Entitlement (FEEE), which is available to all children the term after their 3rd birthday up until they reach compulsory school age and this covers the cost of up to 15 hours of pre school education per week during term time (excluding meals and consumables).

The FEEE is at the heart of the Government’s vision for all children to have access to high quality early years education. Evidence shows that regular good quality early education has long lasting benefits for all children (Essex County Council, Provider Handbook, April 2017).

Some disadvantaged 2 year olds may also receive the entitlement. Unlike the 3 and 4 year old entitlement this is not a universal offer from the government. This is a targeted offer to a limited number of 2 year olds and is subject to eligibility criteria and an application process. Again it covers the cost of up to 15 hours of education per week during term time. (see below for more information)

As we are open 52 weeks of the year and the entitlement only covers term-time places of 38 weeks per year, spaces are limited for funded term-time only placements and are subject to days and times that we have available.

The majority of our parents use the 15 hours per week x 38 weeks= 570 hours of funded childcare per annum and pay for the additional hours and meals and consumables they need so that they can keep their child in all-year-round childcare. At Toad Hall we offer flexibility and stretch the 38 weeks up to 52 weeks (still no more than 570 funded hours per annum) so that each term our parents have a fixed amount they pay for additional hours and services. Parents are also able to choose the hours and sessions they want the funding to apply to, which can be a mix of morning or afternoon sessions, full days or nursery days or a combination.

The offer

Up to 15 hours a week over a minimum of two days (if the offer is stretched over more than 38 weeks the hours per week are reduced)

Length of offer

38 weeks or up to 52 weeks for a stretched offer (no more than 570 hours per annum)

Maximum hours per day

10 hours

Number of providers

  • For 3 and 4 year olds, parents can use their 15 free hours over a maximum of two participating providers
  • The FEEE for eligible two year olds may be accessed at one provider only

Times

Not before 7.00am or after 7.00pm

 

A child born in the period

Will become eligible for a funded place

1 April to 31 August

1 September following a child’s third birthday

1 September to 31 December

1 January following a child’s third birthday

1 January to 31 March

1 April following a child’s third birthday

 

In Essex, the entitlement has increased to 30 hours per week funded childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds,  however this is not a universal offer and parents need to check their eligibility on the GOV.UK website. 

To qualify for the full 30 hours of free childcare, both parents must be working; each parent (or the sole parent in a single parent family) will need to earn, on average, the equivalent of 16 hours on the national minimum wage per week, and no more than £100,000 per year. 

Self-employed parents, parents on zero-hours contracts and those on sick or parental leave will be eligible if they meet the average earnings threshold. The additional funded hours will also be available where one parent is employed but the other has substantial caring responsibilities or is disabled.

It is important to note that the minimum threshold is based on money earned, not hours worked – so if a parent works for 10 hours per week but still earns the equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum or living wage, they will be eligible for the 30-hour offer.

In cases where parents are separated, eligibility applies to the parent with whom the child ‘normally lives’. Where the parent of a child has a ‘partner’ – i.e. a person to whom they are married, have a civil partnership, or live with, the eligibility criteria also applies to that partner.

Parents are able to apply now for the 30-hour scheme (as well as the tax-free childcare scheme) through a joint online application developed by HMRC https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk , which includes an eligibility checking system. Once parents successfully apply online, they will be given a code, which they then provide to their chosen provider(s). Providers then use the eligibility checking system to check that the code is valid and if it is, book that child’s place. If no spaces are available parents will need to contact Essex County Council at: early.years@essex.gov.uk who can look for alternative providers for their child.

Parents are expected to reconfirm their eligibility every three months. Any parents who provide false information about their eligibility can be fined between £300 and £3000 by HMRC.

If a parent’s circumstances change and they become eligible for the 30–hour offer, local authorities are expected to secure a funded place for the child or children ‘as soon as is reasonably practicable’ during the term they become eligible and no later the start of the next term. It is not for providers to find spaces, however parents can always check with their provider or chosen provider to see if they have any spaces.

If a parent’s circumstances change and they become ineligible for the 30-hour offer, local authorities will be required to continue funding their place for a ‘grace period’, which will be the same across the country.  This grace period will be automatically administered through the eligibility checking system.

Any child who is no longer eligible for the 30-hour offer will still be eligible for the universal 15-hour free entitlement offer. 

We will be offering the 30-hours, in the same way we deliver the 15 hours. Please note, that as we are open 52 weeks of the year spaces will be limited for funded term-time-only placements and there will be conditions applied to these. We will offer flexibility as we currently offer with the 15-hour funding, which will include offering different patterns of attendance. The actual entitlement is 30-hours x 38 weeks = 1140 hours per annum maximum (compared to 570 hours for the universal offer).

With the extended entitlement, providers will be able to deliver the funded entitlement from as early as 6am,and to as late as 8pm. However, the rule that no session should be longer than 10 hours is remaining, so for example, a funded session that started at 6am would have to end by no later than 4pm. If parents, want their child to stay later they would need to pay the provider for these extra hours and services. There will be no minimum session length. Please note that Toad Hall is open from 7am-7pm.

The government will limit the number of sites on which children can take up their free entitlement in a single day or two. However, there is no restriction on the number of providers that parents can use in a week or a month, although the DfE says that ‘parents and providers should be mindful of the impact on the continuity of care of the child when using a number of providers’. Toad Hall have made it a condition that parents wishing to access the 30-hours will need to choose Toad Hall for the universal 15 hours funding if they wish to split the 30 hours with another provider/s (i.e. want to use less than 30 hours but more than 15 hours with ourselves need to select Toad Hall for the first 15 hours and then other providers after). We will be unable to offer the additional hours if parents do not use Toad Hall for the universal 15 hours funding.

As with the 15-hour offer, the government has stated that funding for the 30-hour offer is only for the provision of early years education and care, and is not intended to cover the cost of consumable items, such as drinks, meals, snacks, nappies, craft supplies or additional services such as music lessons and trips. Please refer to our Fees for the costings.

Hard Facts

Would there be anything to pay if you are accessing the 30-hours? If you are given a free term-time-only space then 'no', so long as you provide your child with the consumable items they need, such as drinks, snacks, lunch, nappies, sun-cream etc. Providers can provide you with a termly costing but it is up to the parent to decide whether they want to pay the provider or provide their own. (Please note, most settings will insist on parents providing healthy snacks and lunches that are nut free) If you are accessing additional hours over the 30-hours and/ or are attending all-year-round then 'yes', you will be charged for the additional hours plus the cost of consumables items. (We would continue to do what we do now, which is to provide parents with a fixed monthly amount for each term so that they know what their costs are). 

Will my child get a place? All settings are limited to the number of children they can take, so if a setting is full and you want a place the answer is going to be 'no', you will need to contact Essex County Council as it is their responsibility to find places. If your child currently attends a setting but again they are full and you want to increase your child's hours so that you take up the 30-hours, the answer is going to be 'no', parents will need to contact Essex County Council as it is for them to find you a place elsewhere for the additional hours you require.  However, if your child attends a setting and you are already accessing 30- hours per week or you are happy with the hours your child attends then you are fine as your child already has a place until they are due to leave for school. 

It's worth checking spaces available and making sure that you have what you need ahead of time. Don't leave it to the last minute. 

All 3-and 4-year-olds will remain entitled to 15 hours of early education per week during term time, regardless of the employment status of their parents.

 

Two Year Olds

The FEEE for two year olds is not a universal offer, only eligible children may access this funding via an application process. Families can apply for funding online, or through a childcare provider, Children’s Center, health visitor, social worker or specialist teacher.

To apply online the parent/carer should go to: https://emsonline.essexcc.gov.uk/CitizenPortal_LIVE/ and register. They then need to Log in and click on ‘Funded Early Education for Two Year Olds’ to complete an application. Once the application is submitted eligibility will be checked and if eligible the applicant will be given a reference number, which they can take to a childcare provider, such as Toad Hall, to access the free place.

Two year olds who meet any one of the following criteria are eligible for the FEEE.

o They meet the criteria used to determine eligibility for Free School Meals as follows:

  • Their family receives Income Support
  • Their family receives Income-based Job Seekers’ Allowance
  • Their family receives Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Their family receives Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Their family receives The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Their family receives Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and have an annual income not exceeding £16,190
  • Their family receives Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after their employment finishes or after they start to work less than 16 hours per week

o Their family receives Working Tax Credits and have annual gross earnings of no more than £16,190

o They have a current statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education, Health and Care plan

o They are entitled to Disability Living Allowance

o They are looked after by a local authority

o They are no longer looked after by the local authority as a result of an adoption order, a special guardianship order or a child arrangements order which specifies with whom the child lives.

Local authorities must ensure that two-year-olds who have met the eligibility criteria set out above continue to receive a place once they have taken it up even if the child ceases to meet these criteria at a later date.

Eligible children may access a FEEE funded place in the term following their second birthday, see table below.

 

A child born in the period

Will become eligible for a funded place

1 April to 31 August

1 September following a child’s second birthday

1 September to 31 December

1 January following a child’s second birthday

1 January to 31 March

1 April following a child’s second birthday

 

Parents/ Carers need to present their child’s birth certificate to the provider, i.e. Toad Hall to confirm their eligibility for the FEEE. Essex County Council may ask to see evidence that the provider has checked birth certificates therefore providers are recommended to make a note of the number to confirm that this has been seen.

 

Information provided on this page has been taken from Essex County Council, Provider Handbook, April 2019 and Pre-school Learning Alliance, A Guide to Early Years Funding and Delivery Changes , 2017.  

Please check www.gov.uk for any updates 

 

 

 

Tax Free Childcare Scheme

 

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare.

The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000per child per year - that's up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child - that's up to £1,000 every three months.

Am I eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £131 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. 

You can't get Tax-Free Childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

How can I benefit?

You can use Tax-Free Childcare all year round to help pay:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
  • Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency

You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as:

You can'tuse it with:

 

Apply Here:   Tax Fee Childcare or visit https://childcare-support.tax.service.gov.uk

 

 

 

Information taken from Gov.UK please check their site for any updates

 

Childcare vouchers and other employer schemes

 

The following schemes are closed to new applicants:

  • childcare vouchers
  • childcare your employer arranges with a provider (known as ‘directly contracted childcare’)

If you joined one of these schemes on or before 4 October 2018 you might be able to keep getting vouchers or directly contracted childcare.

If you joined a childcare voucher scheme or a directly contracted childcare scheme on or before 4 October 2018

You can keep getting vouchers or directly contracted childcare as long as:

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

You can take up to £55 a week of your wages, which you do not pay tax or National Insurance on.

How much you can take depends on the amount you earn and when you joined the scheme.

If you get Tax-Free Childcare

You cannot continue to claim childcare vouchers or directly contracted childcare if you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare.

Which scheme you’re better off with depends on your situation. Use the childcare calculatorto work out which type of support is best for you.

You must tell your employer within 90 days if you get Tax-Free Childcare. They’ll then stop giving you new vouchers or directly contracted childcare.

You can continue to use any vouchers you already have, including to make a joint payment for childcare with Tax-Free Childcare. There’s no deadline for using your vouchers or directly contracted childcare.

Once you’ve told your employer that you’re getting Tax-Free Childcare, you cannot rejoin their voucher scheme or their directly contracted childcare scheme.

Tax and employer childcare schemes

You do not have to pay tax and National Insurance on:

  • childcare vouchers, if you joined a scheme and your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
  • directly contracted childcare, if you joined a scheme and your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
  • workplace nurseries

You must pay tax and National Insurance on:

  • cash your employer gives you to pay for childcare
  • childcare provider’s fees your employer pays
  • school fees your employer pays

 

 

For more information please visit GOV.uk and any updates

Child Tax Credit

 

Overview

Child Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If your child is 16, you can claim up until 31 August after their 16th birthday. If they are in approved education or training, you can claim until their 20th birthday.

If you cannot make a new claim for Child Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for:

What you’ll get

The amount you can get depends on how many children you’ve got and whether you’re:

Child Tax Credit will not affect your Child Benefit.

You can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

If you're making a new claim

Child Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If your child is 16, you can claim up until 31 August after their 16th birthday. If they are in approved education or training, you can claim until their 20th birthday.

You can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

If you cannot make a new claim for Child Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for:

What you’ll get

The amount you could get depends on when your children were born.

If all your children were born before 6 April 2017

You could get the ‘child element’ of Child Tax Credit for all of your children.

You’ll also get the basic amount, known as the ‘family element’.

If one or more of your children were born on or after 6 April 2017

You could get the child element of Child Tax Credit for up to 2 children. You might get the child element for more children if exceptions apply.

You’ll only get the family element if at least one of your children was born before 6 April 2017.

Child Tax Credit rates for the 2019 to 2020 tax year

Element

Yearly amount

The basic amount (this is known as ‘the family element’)

Up to £545

For each child (this is known as ‘the child element’)

Up to £2,780

For each disabled child

Up to £3,355 (on top of the child element)

For each severely disabled child

Up to £1,360 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element)

Use the tax credit calculator to work out how much you could get.

Moving to the UK from the EEA

You must wait 3 months before claiming Child Tax Credit if you arrived in the UK from the EEA on or after 1 July 2014 and do not work.

There are some exceptions who will not have to wait 3 months, for example refugees.

 

You're already claiming Child Tax Credit

How much Child Tax Credit you get depends on your circumstances.

You must tell HM Revenue and Customs if your circumstances change.

If your claim started before 6 April 2017

You get:

  • the basic amount of Child Tax Credit (known as the ‘family element’)
  • the ‘child element’ for children born before 6 April 2017

If you have another child on or after 6 April 2017, you’ll usually only get the child element for them if they’re the second child you’re claiming for.

You might get the child element for more children if exceptions apply.

If your claim started on or after 6 April 2017

You get the child element for up to 2 children. You might get the child element for more children if exceptions apply.

You only get the family element if at least one of your children was born before 6 April 2017.

If all your children were born before 6 April 2017

You get the child element for all your children. You also get the basic amount (known as the family element).

Child Tax Credit rates for the 2019 to 2020 tax year

Element

Yearly amount

The basic amount (this is known as ‘the family element’)

Up to £545

For each child (this is known as ‘the child element’)

Up to £2,780

For each disabled child

Up to £3,355 (on top of the child element)

For each severely disabled child

Up to £1,360 (on top of the child element and the disabled child element)

 

How you're paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account (a bank account, for example) of the person mainly responsible for the child.

You’re paid every week or every 4 weeks from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April), unless your circumstances change.

How to claim

Child Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Child Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If your child is 16, you can claim up until 31 August after their 16th birthday. If they are in approved education or training, you can claim until their 20th birthday.

If you cannot make a new claim for Child Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for:

Start your claim

Call HM Revenue and Customs to make a new claim for Child Tax Credit.

It can take up to 5 weeks to process a new claim.

HM Revenue and Customs
Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909
Outside UK: +44 2890 538 192
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

 

 

Responsibility for a child

You can only claim Child Tax Credit for children you’re responsible for.

You’re usually responsible for a child if:

  • they live with you all the time
  • they normally live with you and you’re the main carer
  • they keep their toys and clothes at your home
  • you pay for their meals and give them pocket money
  • they live in anEEA country or Switzerland but are financially dependent on you

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re not sure you’re responsible for the child.

If you share responsibility for a child and you cannot agree who should claim you can both apply. HMRC will decide for you.

If you adopted or fostered a child

You can claim for an adopted or fostered child if you’re not getting money from your local council (Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland). If you do get money, call HMRC to find out if you can claim.

If you’re responsible for a disabled child

You may get extra Child Tax Credits if your child either:

You still qualify if Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment stops because the child goes into hospital.

 

 

Taken from GOV.uk

Working Tax Credit

 

Eligibility

Whether you can get Working Tax Credit depends on:

  • the hours of paid work you do each week
  • yourincome and circumstances

New Working Tax Credit claims

Working Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If you cannot make a new claim for Working Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for:

Hours you work

You must work a certain number of hours a week to qualify.

Circumstance

Hours a week

Aged 25 to 59

At least 30 hours

Aged 60 or over

At least 16 hours

Disabled

At least 16 hours

Single with 1 or more children

At least 16 hours

Couple with 1 or more children

Usually, at least 24 hours between you (with 1 of you working at least 16 hours)

A child is someone who is under 16 (or under 20 if they’re in approved education or training).

Use the tax credits calculator to check if you work the right number of hours.

You can still apply for Working Tax Credit if you’re on leave.

Exceptions for couples with at least one child

You can claim if you work less than 24 hours a week between you and one of the following applies:

  • you work at least 16 hours a week and you’re disabled or aged 60 or above
  • you work at least 16 hours a week and your partner is incapacitated (getting certain benefits because of disability or ill health), is entitled to Carer’s Allowance, or is in hospital or prison

What counts as work

Your work can be:

If you’re self-employed

Some self-employed people are not eligible for Working Tax Credit. To qualify, your self-employed work must aim to make a profit. It must also be commercial, regular and organised.

This means you may not qualify if you do not:

  • make a profit or have clear plans to make one
  • work regularly
  • keepbusiness records, such as receipts and invoices
  • follow any regulations that apply to your work, for example having the right licence or insurance

If the average hourly profit from your self-employed work is less than the National Minimum Wage, HM Revenue and Customs may ask you to provide:

  • business records
  • your business plan - find outhow to write a business plan
  • details of the day-to-day running of your business
  • evidence that you’ve promoted your business - such as advertisements or flyers

Your pay

The work must last at least 4 weeks (or you must expect it to last 4 weeks) and must be paid.

This can include payment in kind (for example farm produce for a farm labourer) or where you expect to be paid for the work.

Exceptions

Paid work does not include money paid:

  • for a‘Rent a Room’ scheme (less than £7,500 or £3,750 for joint owners)
  • for work done while in prison
  • as a grant for training or studying
  • as a sports award

Your income

There’s no set limit for income because it depends on your circumstances (and those of your partner). For example, £18,000 for a couple without children or £13,100 for a single person without children - but it can be higher if you have children, pay for approved childcare or one of you is disabled.

What you'll get

You get a basic amount and extra (known as ‘elements’) on top of this.

How much you get depends on things like your circumstances and income.

The basic amount is up to £1,960 a year.

Element

Amount

You’re a couple applying together

Up to £2,010 a year

You’re a single parent

Up to £2,010 a year

You work at least 30 hours a week

Up to £810 a year

You have a disability

Up to £3,165 a year

You have a severe disability

Up to £1,365 a year (usually on top of the disability payment)

You pay for approved childcare

Up to £122.50 (1 child) or £210 (2 or more children) a week

Use the tax credits calculator to work out how much you could get.

How you’re paid

Money is paid directly into your bank or building society account, every week or 4 weeks.

You must choose one account if you’re a couple.

Usually, you’re paid from the date of your claim up to the end of the tax year (5 April).

If your circumstances change

Your tax credits can go up or down if your family or work life change if you start a new job, you’re laid off work or your partner dies.

You must report these changes to HM Revenue and Customs.

 

 

How to claim

Working Tax Credit has been replaced by Universal Credit for most people.

You can only make a new claim for Working Tax Credit if you get the severe disability premium or got it in the past month and are still eligible for it.

If you cannot make a new claim for Working Tax Credit, you may be able to apply for:

Start a claim

Call HM Revenue and Customs to make a new claim for Working Tax Credit. It can take up to 5 weeks to process a new claim.

You can claim after starting a new job, at any time of the year.

If you’re on benefits (for example Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income Support), you can usually start claiming 7 days before you start a new job.

You’ll be asked for some information and given an estimate of how much you’ll get. You may be asked for:

  • your National Insurance number (if you have one)
  • yourincome for the last tax year
  • details of anybenefits you get
  • details of any childcare payments
  • the number of hours you work per week

HM Revenue and Customs
Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Textphone: 0345 300 3909
Outside UK: +44 2890 538 192
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 8am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

Leave and gaps in your employment

You can get Working Tax Credit for periods when you do not work. For example, when you:

  • go on maternity leave
  • get sick pay
  • are in between jobs

You’re entitled to the tax credits for a certain period of time providing you qualify.

If you do not return to work at the end of the period contact HM Revenue and Customs.

 

Circumstance

Period you get tax credits for

You lose or leave your job

For 4 weeks

You’re on maternity leave

For the first 39 weeks of your leave

You’re on adoption leave

For the first 39 weeks of your leave

You’re on paternity leave

For the period of your ordinary paternity leave

You’re on additional paternity leave

Up to the equivalent 39th week of your partner’s leave

You’re off sick

For the first 28 weeks

You’re on strike

For the first 10 days

You’re laid off work

For 4 weeks after you’re laid off or the lay off becomes indefinite

You’re suspended from work - for example because of a complaint

Usually the period of suspension

 

 

 

Qualifying rules

To qualify, you must:

  • have been in paid work
  • have worked the right number of hours before you go on leave or the gap happens
  • have got Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent benefit if you were on sick leave

You’ll still qualify if you were self employed and you would have been eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or an equivalent benefit if you were not self employed.

The equivalent benefits are National Insurance credits (incapacity for work element), Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support (incapacity for work element).

 

 

 

Taken from GOV.uk please check their site for any updates