Government's "new" great childcare plan....

(395 Posts)
duende Mon 18-Mar-13 18:09:09

I know there was a thread about it here a few weeks ago, but now a bit more detail is available:

parents to get 20% of childcare cost back

Now, I can't help but see it as a bit of a con. First of all, annoyed by how they sell it - our childcare bill is closer to 10-12k, so £1200 per year is NOT 20%.
Also, at the moment, both me and DP get the full amount available in childcare vouchers, which they will abolish. I get £243 per month, DP gets £220, and I am a higher tax payer.
Surely we will not be better off with this great new deal they have come up with?

Also, this will only be available to families where both parents work, current childcare voucher scheme is not restricted this way.

Am I missing something here, or are they about to screw people over again whilst dressing it as a positive move??

nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 18:15:38

oh fuck this will crucify DH and I, this will REALLY hurt our cash flow, in fact this will put me out of work I think. Is there more information out there?

I hate the condems. I HATE Georgie Osbourne.

Meglet Mon 18-Mar-13 18:18:29

I'm sure it's a sneaky way for them to screw over more people.

Is the £6 figure per child, or per family?

What about single parents?

parabelle Mon 18-Mar-13 18:18:41

So is this instead of the £243 amount I currently get?

ReallyTired Mon 18-Mar-13 18:18:45

So if one parent loses their job then they also lose their childcare vouchers. What about parents who are students, trying to better themselves.

Owllady Mon 18-Mar-13 18:20:50

once again i suspect this will hit WOMEN more than men, like ALL their cost saving efforts

Lets face it, they haven't got a bloody clue how most ordinary families cope and survive

I can't believe they're doing this. Will dismantle all the voucher scheme framework, put people out of work and cause employers endless work unravelling it - plus increasing the employers costs as currently they make a saving too.

It won't affect me personally as we only have one dc in after school care and haven't bothered claiming vouchers for her anymore as just a small amount. When I went back to work after dd3 it was only the savings dh and I made through the scheme that made working financially advantageous at that point at all.

Utter, utter bastards!

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 18:23:49

anyone have any idea what will happen in scotland? will we keep vouchers?

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 18:25:33

this is stupid. I pay £4 an hour to a CM and 20% of my yearly cost is way over £1200. THis would make us WORSE off (if we lived in England). And £4 an hour is not a high rate!

Sone figures - I've just calculated using the calculator on the HRMC site. Assuming that dh and I were paying what the government think is 'average' nursery fees of £6000/52 = £115.38 per week (my fees for dd3 -in the North - were more like £190 a week for full time). Vouchers if claimed by both of us and with him being a higher rate earner would give us a benefit of £2449 per annum. My benefit alone is nearly £1000. An in return for taking this away the Tories think £100 a month will do?


nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 18:33:23

Is it up to 20% per child?

Do the gov ever consult working families about this sort of stuff.

I just told Dh and the colour drained from his face, he looked really scared.

Thanks tory scum and useless fucking lib dems, I will be significantly might lose my house worse off.

nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 18:34:01

northern can you link to the HRMC site pplease?

Just notoiced I made an error in the income figure I typed - but even with that corrected the benefit to a family like us would still be over £2000 per annum.

duende Mon 18-Mar-13 18:39:53

It is per household, regardless of how many children in childcare you have, I believe.

"Sources across Whitehall were said to be "jubilant" a deal had been struck, with one telling BBC Newsnight the four month negotiations had been a "monumental battle"."

They truly are a disgusting lot sad

Also some brief info here. Bearing in mind this benefit is available only to dual working households. The same household taking maximum vouchers would save at least £1772. Compared to £1200.

rumbelina Mon 18-Mar-13 18:42:17

I would love to know where we can get full time childcare for £500 a month!

Monumental battle between those pointing out this is a vote losing bastard of an idea and those who are terminally stupid one assumes.

duende Mon 18-Mar-13 18:50:26

northernlurker thanks for working out he difference. Even though it's depressing.

rumbelina, if you find it, let me know. I'm sure those with two in paid childcare would love to know, too.

So, how long before we can vote them out...?

Two years.

You can comment on that BBC article I have done so with a link to this thread because it reads a bit like Allegra Sutton has swallowed the press release whole and they need to see there are other viewpoints!

GotMyGoat Mon 18-Mar-13 18:55:47

Any idea if this replaces the childcare element of tax credits too? Why can't they work it out like housing benefit, where they base it on the cheapest average rental costs in the area, I know it said in the news recently that Wimbledon nursery costs are something like £14,000 a year so their estimate of £6000 doesn't even touch that!

The cheapest childcare I've ever heard of was £3.50 per hour, and thats £7280 a year. Has anyone else ever seen any cheaper? Where on earth have the government got their figures from?

I am confused. This is advantagous for:

- People who are self employed and couldn't get vouchers

- Those who didn't earn enough to get vouchers without compromising their NI contribution records

- Single parents who could only get 1 parent's worth of vouchers

But for everyone else it looks like a cut. Looking here, if you both work and claim the maximum possible, even those with the lowest savings (being 2 50% tax payers) are disadvantaged. If only one of you worked then you lose it all.

I am surprised that it has a cost and isn't a saving on the existing set up.

Meglet Mon 18-Mar-13 19:00:13

duende this is how long before we can vote them out

When both DC's were in nursery 4 days a week it was approx £1,100 a month.

Does it mention how you can claim the money back? Is it via the tax system? If so then how are they going to know whether both parents work, bearing in mind the basis of independent taxation.

nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 19:05:35

How long will it be before they implement this? When they get voted out, how long will it be before somthing like this gets turned around.

I feel sick. I honestly feel really sick.

GotMyGoat Mon 18-Mar-13 19:10:51

I think the article said we'll learn more about it tomorrow?

Independent taxation was undermined when the child benefit changes came in as one parent can claim CB but the other can have it clawed back.

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 19:12:31

why why why didn't they just increase the amount of vouchers each parent could claim? That would really help working parents.

I can see why they didn't increase the vouchers as there is a real gap in self employed people not being able to claim them. I guess they also don't want to fund them where there is a SAHP - but I am sure there are many circumstances where a SAHP does need their child to be in childcare.

Kazooblue Mon 18-Mar-13 19:18:20

Hmm well I isn't think it's fair families on £150k having any help whilst those on a lot less lose CB. Familes on £100k keep their CB,have 2 tax allowances and help towards childcare.

Families on 50-60k lose CB and have only one tax allowance.

Nobody on £150k should get anything when those on a lot less are being screwed.

GotMyGoat Mon 18-Mar-13 19:20:20

Kazoo - I had completely overlooked that bit! I suppose the thinking is that if they encourage high earning women into work with childcare work hmm then they'll be rolling in all their lovely taxes?

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 19:23:40

ok, well make all childcare a tax-deductible expense. That would help all working parents inc self-employed ones

Kazooblue Mon 18-Mar-13 19:25:51

Apologies for my many typos but you get my drift.grin

ceeveebee Mon 18-Mar-13 19:26:59

£1200 would cover just less than 3 weeks of my childcare bill for 16 mo twins, and that's for 3 days a week. £80 per day per child for nursery round here (SW London) so we have a nanny instead which will no doubt not be covered by this scheme.

Where are they getting these figures from? Even in my hometown which is one of the least prosperous parts of the country, it costs £10k for 1 child under 3 in FT nursery.

Please tell me single parents won't be excluded from this? There's a lot of "both work" in that article. Also what about where one is studying full time?

ReallyTired Mon 18-Mar-13 19:38:37

What is unfair is that parents on benefits get 15 hours of free care from 2 years old, but a family with a SAHP cannot use the vouchers to pay for their chidlren to have pre school eduation from 2. If the governant thinks that nursery care from the age of two is good for children then surely they should encourage all parents to access pre school education.

Kopparbergkate Mon 18-Mar-13 19:40:23

Right, DH is a higher rate tax payer, I'm a full-time student. We currently claim the max childcare vouchers. Under the new plan, we won't be able to because I'm not "employed".

Presumably a single working parent could claim the vouchers under the new plan, so are they suggesting DH and I should split up?

Also, on what planet is the AVERAGE annual full-time childcare cost £6000???

Koppar - families like yours are screwed I'm afraid.

Koppar, is that definite? Or are you assuming that students won't get it?

And what abt working single parents? Do they count as "both"?

fraktion Mon 18-Mar-13 19:50:24

Isn't this per child? So people like ceeveebee will get back 1200 x 3 per year, and single child families will lose out.

I assume nannies will still be eligible if they're registered, as is the case at the moment.

It seems monumentally unfair that studying isn't classed as working. Here's hoping they'll consult on it....

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 19:51:45

I suspect that like so many of the coalition's policies, this will be scrapped or substantially changed later when lots and lots of groups lobby

I believe it's being touted as per household not per child.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fairylightsinthesnow Mon 18-Mar-13 19:54:58

Christ, I missed this entirely, will read the papers tomorrow, but if it is based on a) per household rather than per child and b) an annual average of 6k it is so far from being reasonable and equitable that I really really hope it'll get sunk without trace or u-turned. Its the 6k that gets me - where on earth do they think you can get a full time place for that? Also, what is "full time"? DH and I drop the DCs off at 7.45 and pick them up at 6, 4 days a week. That's nearly 10 hrs a day x2 (DCs) x 4. Hourly rate varies a bit with sibling discount etc but averages £8-9 so that's nearly £360 a week. I don't necessarily expect help, I chose to have children and that's fine, but if they are going to do something, I'd like them to base it on reality, not some random figure plucked out of the air.

IrnBruTheNoo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:55:02

Scotland better go independent in the near more effing Tories! If there's one reason for independence then this is it. It is just going to get worse, as they've no idea how people in the real world live and survive.

Meglet Mon 18-Mar-13 19:56:17

Yet again we've pulled apart one of their plans in an hour. Do they just fling half-baked ideas out and let everyone else figure out the details then they have another look at it hmm.

bigkidsdidit Mon 18-Mar-13 19:58:02

IrnBru the articles are saying this is just England and Wales. Not sure what we will get?

IrnBruTheNoo Mon 18-Mar-13 20:01:39

bigkid that's a relief.

nextphase Mon 18-Mar-13 20:05:07

they seem to think we only ever need 25 hrs a week
child care costs 2013

so, full time workers requirements are diluted by those who use family for some of the time, work part time or just put the kids into nursery for a couple of sessions for socialisation.

Since both parents need to work, its another kick in the teeth for most households - those with one earner will loose the lot, those with 2 earners both claiming vouchers will loose out. Seems to me the only possible benefits will be familys where both work, but one is SE, so can't access vouchers.

fraktion Mon 18-Mar-13 20:08:30

Per household is nuts. I thought I read ages ago that they were looking at per child schemes? Per household it's LESS!

Dozer Mon 18-Mar-13 20:18:05

I don't like the BBC story, it is one-sided.

Will wait until the full information is published, but question the £6,000 "average" figure, assume that the "average" (mean?) must include part-time nursery places and school-age DC. £6000 would surely not be average for a full-time place for a toddler, for example.

In London we used to pay £800 a month for one child for three days a week, so £9600 a year. Now in home counties pay around £12,500 for two DC for three days, one of school age.

StillStuck Mon 18-Mar-13 20:23:22

am I being thick? its been a long day so probably... but..I am not sure it is actually bad news if both parents are earning?
at present each parent can take £243 a month tax free (i.e. vouchers as a salary sacrifice), so if you are basic rate payer that is an actual saving of approx £50/month per parent (or £100 per month total)

which works out at a saving of £600 per year?
so under the new scheme you could potentially save £1200 per year instead? (if both parents work)

or am I being dim???! (like I say, probably)

StillStuck Mon 18-Mar-13 20:31:52

oh god, just realised I got my maths wrong!! and forgot about NI. maybe it was someone as tired as me that worked out the policy...

yes even 2 basic rate tax payers would be worse off.

god that's stupid after all their stuff about trying to help working parents.

getyourshoesonNOW Mon 18-Mar-13 20:32:02

So both parents work and get help towards childcare costs. One gets made redundant. The family suddenly has to cope on one salary AND loses their nursery costs. Many will withdraw children from childcare. If the parent who lost their job finds another one, they might not be able to find new childcare at short notice. What happens then?

This STUPID government has, once again, utterly failed to think things through. They just don't consult with ordinary people either. They are IDIOTS

Fucking bastards.

That is all.

redandwhitesprinkles Mon 18-Mar-13 21:03:29

Child care vouchers make it worth me working. I might as well give up.... Our nursery is £1800 a month for 2. £115 a month instead of £486 seems a bit crapola!

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 18-Mar-13 21:05:55

again, i would love to find out about all these full-time childcare places for £6k pa
we pay almost exactly £6k pa for dd2 to attend nursery for 2.5 days per week. We're not in London/SE, either.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The maths can be seen here for different rates of tax payer.

If you are basic rate payers you get about £5.8k of vouchers per year which you aren't paying 20% PAYE and 12% NIC - so you save about £1.8k. So you will be £600 worse off.

nilbyname Mon 18-Mar-13 22:52:27

I am so rubbish with numbers but all I am getting so far from those if you who have worked it out is.....everyone will be worse off. Can we get twittering on this? I am disgusted.

What can we do? MN is quite influential how do we harness that and show Dave et al what we think?

Key beneficiaries are the self employed and (I hope) single parents. Self employed people can't use vouchers at the moment and single parents get only one lot of vouchers, so half the benefit that a couple receives. However it really isn't clear how this will work with the different permutations of family that exist.

PastaBeeandCheese Mon 18-Mar-13 23:15:26

According to the Daily Mail (I know, I know) it is going to be per child and can be claimed by single parents. If this is true then everyone with more than 1 child will be better off wont they?

Startail Mon 18-Mar-13 23:15:37

And those of us who choose to bring up our own DDs get Fuck all, well actually since DH's taxes help fund child care allowances and we've lost our child benefit we get rather less than fuck all.

Actually Startail even though my DD goes to nursery, I would describe DH and Myself as bringing our DD up, or will you cease to bring up your DC when they start school?

TantieTowie Mon 18-Mar-13 23:30:14

I'm self-employed but by 2015 my now two-year-old will be about to go to school, so not much good to me. Why can't I just write childcare off against tax now? Or from beginning of the new tax year in April, at least? If I had a chauffeur I could write their services off against tax. Hmm, maybe I'm missing a trick and need a chauffeur who can multitask and do my childcare too...

Strangeface Mon 18-Mar-13 23:39:37

Nilbyname - couldn't agree more. It's clearly yet another awful policy from a group of people who can't know the price of a pint of milk. If they do it makes it worse. I've been feeling for a while that it's time to challenge the government on it's appalling decisions and policies dressed up as "hard choices". This may be the place to start.

gallicgirl Mon 18-Mar-13 23:43:40

Has anyone seen anything on how this might impact on the childcare element of child tax credit?

Startail Mon 18-Mar-13 23:50:20

No offence meant to work ing parents, I know we are very lucky to have one decent income we can live one.

I just hate the attitude of all governments, Tory and Labour to SAHMs.

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 18-Mar-13 23:54:30

This is disgusting. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:10:37

Add message | Report | Message poster ReallyTired Mon 18-Mar-13 19:38:37
What is unfair is that parents on benefits get 15 hours of free care from 2 years old, but a family with a SAHP cannot use the vouchers to pay for their chidlren to have pre school eduation from 2. If the governant thinks that nursery care from the age of two is good for children then surely they should encourage all parents to access pre school education.

Totally agree tried to ake this point on aibu and got sahm mum dont need this perk.

Also agree with kazzo.

1parent working over 50k loses cb
2parents in 49k keep and get the new 1200 saving.

I have 3kids 1 school age other 2 need nursery if went back full time.
£80 a day and they offering 24quid a week!

when went back full time in 2007 my childcare bill was 850 a month.

I think job market uncertain an hear about people being made redundant all time.,

They should try being a mum looking for job when so any looking for jobs and employers want full flexibility.

will it effect single parents/widows?
do you have to work 25hour min?
i cant afford right now on 1salary to pay 25hours income?

most part timers 16hours of less.

also a warning about current vouchers its salary sacrafice so will dimish pension contribution.

Only 2years ago they changed the amount higher rate tax payers could claim.
todays papers make it sound great its rubbish when will people see the detail and realise its bad.

looks like they cant agree

sept 2015 my youngest starts school.

will it include childcare for 5+like vouchers for holiday/after school clubs?

catgirl1976 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:31:20


DH doesn't work and I get vouchers atm.

It will be another bloody thing we don't get now. DH isn't entitled to any benefits because of my income. Fair enough, but stuff like this was a help and now I lose out because I only have one child.


mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:33:03

oh and this caught my eye

its phased in from april 2015 guess old ones then defunct.

take my delightful children as example.

i decide oh will get a job but childcare costs more than my wages even with the extra money.

My delightful kids then start school so from september 2015 will have 3school kids in primary school surly its easier and cheaper for me to work then with all the school holidays and inset days aside and the abundance of school hour jobs 9.30-3. its ok my lovlely primary has a breckfast club that costs £2.50,the afterschool club 3.15 -5.30 is £8.50 a day and the holiday club is £60 a week.

if I work fulltime now hubbys 41k which think works works out £12 a hour gross.

to put all 3kids in brekkie club and after school club would be

£11 per child £33 per day 165 a week £530

heres the sting

It will initially help 1.3 million families with children under five but will be extended, probably over five years, to cover children up to the age of 12.

probably over 5years so what do i do between 2015 and 2020 to ensure im working and its worth my while working?

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 00:34:01
nannynick Tue 19-Mar-13 06:04:24

Radio4 just said it is Per Child, so if that is the case it may be good news for some families. However as ever the details seem to be missing. Why anounce this sort of thing yet withhold the fine print?

Oh god, this is going to be a disaster. And I appear to have the cheapest childcare around at £3.50 an hour.

I'm about to go from part time to full time because I can't progress in my company and stay part time so our childcare bills will rocket. And by 2015 I'm hoping we will have two.

Here's hoping this " plan" will be another uturn by the condems

Dozer Tue 19-Mar-13 06:52:02

startail leave it out with the SAHPs "bring up their own DC (and WOHPs don't) bollocks, it's rude and nasty.

PastaBeeandCheese Tue 19-Mar-13 06:56:15

Nannynick, I've linked an article further up the thread that says this is per child.

If that's the case we will be slightly worse off with our one child (DH's salary sacrifice is capped in higher earnings bracket so we save £1,500 with vouchers) but better off when we have another.

I think everyone with more than one child will be better off?

Go forth and procreate then, is the message! hmm

Glittertwins Tue 19-Mar-13 07:10:29

I'd like to see more details. I just put my details into a tax calculator and the difference between me taking max £243 per month and nothing saves me just over £930 per year. DH can only claim half of what I can now. It could be worth moving him over to reduce his tax bill and therefore child benefit cuts but it will depend on the detail. According to the BBC, vouchers will remain for existing members and closed to new claimants.

scaevola Tue 19-Mar-13 07:14:04

Listening to Breakfast on this: it sounds like a "pay first and claim later" system.

You can claim per child, up to age 12.

You will not be able to claim if you receive UC.

It will be available only on line.

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 07:19:34

According to the guardian this morning it is up to 6k a year, 1200 per child so cutoff 5 children. so apparently anyone with more than one child will be better off?

Not till autumn 2015 anyway, which is after the next election, so we need to see labour's proposal

kim147 Tue 19-Mar-13 07:25:54

The voucher scheme is going to be "grandfathered" - so get in now if you want it.

gallicgirl Tue 19-Mar-13 07:34:09

We've just left voucher scheme cos DP made redundant and I understand we will get more tax credits this way. Hoping to keep little one in nursery one or two days so DP has quiet time to fill in job applications!
Why can't child care just be tax deductible with a boost through child tax credit for those whose income is too low for tax? Is that just too damn simple?

Welovegrapes Tue 19-Mar-13 07:39:28

Rubbish proposals sad

From what I have read it will not come I to effect until 2015, ie after next election. I do not think this lot will continue in power.

Glittertwins Tue 19-Mar-13 07:45:32

Quite, gregs, no need to get worried although I am not convinced that the current Opposition has actually come up with anything concrete rather than just slating.

KinkyDorito Tue 19-Mar-13 07:59:33


The £750m scheme, which will not be introduced until the autumn of 2015, will initially apply to children under the age of five, providing help to 1.3 million families. It will eventually be extended to include children up to the age of 12.

Okay, so if my child goes into wrap-around, age 7 at that point, I can claim nothing then? Whereas, at the moment, my childminder accepts vouchers and I save money on them.

Do only parents of children under the age of 5 work then hmm, or am I missing something here? Or will we still get vouchers whilst they change over?

It is all very alarming and confusing.

If they made it all free, there wouldn't be this problem wink.

KinkyDorito Tue 19-Mar-13 08:00:05

God, I hope not greggs, I really hope not!

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Mar-13 08:06:20

Hmm just heard more about this scheme and I'm not happy either, my 2 best mates are single mums both in nursing so I'm guessing they don't qualify. hmm
My dh works abroad 8 months of the year, because dh is away 2 months at a time I don't work, we currently use the voucher scheme to pay for extra childcare. In the new proposals we won't be eligible.
This may be a controversial thought but why on salaries up to £150,000 that in my opinion is loaded, the cap should be £100,000 surely and why not one parent working. shock

Yes the further detail this morning says 'per child' but also only up to age of 5 at first. So if you've two children in childcare in 2015 and you can claim the maximum you'll be better off - but only if both of you are working. I haven't seen anything yet about what 'working' means. Do you have to both be working 30+ hours for example?

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 08:14:13

It's so incredibly unfair,how on earth do families on £150k need help,just how?

So this is what those of us on 50-60k lost our CB for so those on 100-150k get even more.

It's just utterly appalling.

And where is the help for mothers to stay at home with their children?

Glittertwins Tue 19-Mar-13 08:14:55

Based on the published information, single parents WILL be okay.

kim147 Tue 19-Mar-13 08:15:57

According to Cameron, it's for "hardworking" parents.

I suppose you'll have to prove you both live together - or will this be fine for separated parents who both work and share parenting.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 08:20:51

So those of us with careers down down the swannee,struggling to find anything with partners on one income of 50-60 get nothing and lose money but those families on 100-150k with double tax breaks,double pensions,careers intact not only keep their CB but get a shed load more.angry

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Mar-13 08:22:59

Well I'm pleased single parents will be ok, but our family would be penalised for wanting to give our children stability. My dh is in defence we earn less than 40k he's away 2 months a year I don't want all my dc in childcare while I work but 3 days a week for my 2yr old would give him an advantage when starting school. I don't see why this should be taken away from us.
I am pig sick of this Government.

BlueyDragon Tue 19-Mar-13 08:25:31

ROFL at the idea that £6k a year is enough for childcare. What planet are they on?

Doesn't kick in until 2015. When both DCs are over five. We already claim max vouchers (reduced because I had the audacity to move jobs) but it's a drop in the ocean tbh.

This isn't hard. Make childcare costs tax deductible, up to a sensible limit not one dreamt up by some statistician who clearly has never paid for childcare based on per child, not parent/carer occupation or numbers of adults in the house. For those on benefits, add extra credit. Pay for it with the extra tax you'll get in from the workforce. If the maths doesn't work then support SAHP properly and allow the unemployed some space.

Just stop messing about trying to look good with complicated schemes that help no-one.

MirandaWest Tue 19-Mar-13 08:26:02

I doubt I will be able to use it as DC are 9 and 7. By 2015 they will be 12 and 10 and if it is rolled out to under 5s at first it seems unlikely that there will be much time for even my younger one to benefit.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 19-Mar-13 08:27:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 08:29:07

(genuine q)

why would families with a SAHP need help with childcare costs? Surely they don't have any.

We need to see what Labour say; they are likely to be the next govt, the way it stands now.

NickECave Tue 19-Mar-13 08:32:39

Does anyone know when they plan to roll it out to over 5s? In 2015 my 2 will be 8 and 5. I currently work very part time hours precisely because childcare is so expensive and we get no help. When my youngest starts reception in 2014 I was planning on going full-time which means we'd need wrap-around and holiday care for both children. Both me and my husband were planning to use the vouchers to help with this but if they are doing away with the vouchers for over 5s then we are really screwed!

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Mar-13 08:33:52

I was planning on going to uni 2014 for 3 years. So under the proposal no childcare for over 5s, no childcare for my youngest 2 as dh would be the only one in work, well my dream of going back to uni and retraining would be just that, a dream.

The more I hear about this proposal the more unfair to hard working parents and parents trying to better themselves this scheme appears to be.

I think we need this Government out.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 08:35:04

Big kid no they don't but they need their child benefit and help to stay at home.If society facilitates those who want to work it should do the reverse for those that want to be sahp which actually benefits some children.

Those with 2 salaries are already getting 2 tax breaks,keeping their CB,2 pensions and a career.They must certainly don't need a shed more cash if on 50k plus combined income.

It is utterly,utterly unfair.

pinkyponk67 Tue 19-Mar-13 08:36:16

It gets worse then, we currently use childcare vouchers for before and after school care for primary age DC and the new scheme is only for under 5s, so we will lose out on this as well

Darlingclementine Tue 19-Mar-13 08:36:57

Just had a brief read of new proposals

Two things strike me:

1. What happens during maternity leave? Is that deemed as one partner not "working". It shouldn't be, but that concerns me

2. Whilst on mat leave, employers should continue to provide Childcare vouchers without any deduction to smp (ie at their own cost). . I'm an employment lawyer and this REALLY pisses off employers who see it as an additional cost if they haven't been able to encourage a woman to opt out of the scheme pre mat leave

I have a sneaking suspicion that the real beneficiaries of this are businesses and that's the true reason this has been brought in.

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 08:39:06

I am not going to rise to 'which actually benefits some children', Kazoo.

Radio 4 said this morning that firstly, a government poll reported 50% of SAHP wanted to go back to work, and secondly, having more people work is better for the economy with tax flowing etc.

Anyway, I hate this bloody govt too. I don't believe they'll be in power in 2015 so this may all be pointless. And I still haven't found out what is happening in Scotland!

ILikeBirds Tue 19-Mar-13 08:39:14

Why does sahp need help with childcare?

Eldest child sent to daycare, made redundant during pregnancy with second child. Required to keep eldest in childcare to keep place, even though parent at home.

Just one example, there may be more

BlueyDragon Tue 19-Mar-13 08:40:42

Kazoo, not every household with two salaries keeps its CB. And our biggest single expenditure in our two salary house is childcare, followed by tax bills. I agree with you that whatever is done should be fair and supportive, but of everyone who pays into the system.

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 08:42:42

that makes sense, Birds

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 08:43:59

Big kid you don't have to rise to anything.The facts are some kids benefit from being at home instead of in childcare which the gov chose to ignore.

Oh and I got it wrong it's families on up to £300k who will benefit from this.

So those of us struggling on one income of 50-60k lose CB but those families on £300k get given a shed load of cash,utterly laughable.

The Tories are total morons.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 08:45:57

No Bluey but those on 100k do.

When you add in CB,tax breaks you're already getting you're already a shed load better off,now you're getting a shed load more whilst families on a lot less have had CB taken away.

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Mar-13 08:47:43

For us preschool is a 3 mile walk, I pay extra to preschool so I don't need to pick up before primary school ends, otherwise I'd be walking about all day. Youngest dc are at home with me.

Another example of sahp using childcare.

Lambzig Tue 19-Mar-13 08:52:39

Well that's me giving up my job then. As it is I will be going back to work after DC2 for a couple of hundred pounds, so this will leave me in negative income to work.

musicalfamily Tue 19-Mar-13 08:54:56

Looks like we are going to lose out massively.

In 2015 we will have 4 children over 5 but under 12 and will be therefore eligible for ZERO help with childcare costs (pre-school, after school club, school holidays anyone?).

We had been saving childcare vouchers for years so that this would be easier for us. I have no idea what will happen to all the money we have saved in the childcare vouchers? Surely we won't be LOSING it?

Anyone else in a similar boat?

Since this government has been here I feel we have lost continuously on every much more can families take of this?

BirdyBedtime Tue 19-Mar-13 08:56:21

To those currently in voucher schemes the BBC. site says that they will continue to operate for existing recipients. But that's not much consolidation for those who in2015 will need to pay for pre and afterschool care.

IsItMeOr Tue 19-Mar-13 08:57:07

BBC says that people who currently claim vouchers will be able to keep them if they want:

"Parents who already claim childcare vouchers through the old scheme will be able to continue to do so if they wish, but it will be closed to new claimants who will be moved to the new tax-free childcare scheme."

And it says that there will be a consultation, so should be an opportunity to feed in comments.

IsItMeOr Tue 19-Mar-13 08:58:20

Oops! x-post Birdy smile

BlueyDragon Tue 19-Mar-13 09:00:14

What tax breaks, Kazoo? No CB, minimal childcare vouchers, no other tax breaks in this house. Just large childcare and tax bills. FWIW I do think the way child benefit was removed was wrong, it should never have been based on anything other than total household income and the level of removal wasn't well thought out (but would have caught some people out wherever it was put). But I don't think it should be a universal benefit, it should be a needs one. Childcare costs though - my childcare arrangements keep a good flow of tax into govt coffers, same as everyone else, so we all should get a break for that, surely?

blondieminx Tue 19-Mar-13 09:03:19

So, in summary so far this past 12 months the government's new childcare policies consist of

* reducing ratios so we will pay the same for less focused care;
* shafting the squeezed middle over child benefit
* removing the voucher scheme/introducing the under-5 rule and thereby making parents of over 5's worse off (and all of the other groups mentioned upthread).

I am amazed that parents aren't yet rioting tbh!

The ConDems policies really aren't helping families at all, none of their policies are thought through properly.

musicalfamily Tue 19-Mar-13 09:04:30

Oh yes I have just seen that. Whilst this helps us it certainly doesn't help other people with over 5s - cost of pre-school and after-school care can really mount up, even if you have 1 or 2 children and not 4 like us.

Where we live (not in London!) it is about 16 pounds per day per child.....and that's without the school holidays thrown in the mix!!

MorphsMum Tue 19-Mar-13 09:06:35

Someone should do a Freedom of Information request to find out how they came up with their "average" childcare cost, as this is clearly wrong?

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 09:07:26

Can someone help me with this. I think I must be missing something here. I saw the article from the guardian

It claims it's a boost by giving us £1200 on childcare cost.

But isn't this less than childcare vouchers? You can only claim this new benefit if both parents are working. We are, and so we have two sets of childcare vouchers. It means we are getting £930x2 = £1860 from the goverment currently on childcare. So how can this be a boost?

Surely this is a boost to people with more than one child, and a cut to anyone with only one?

blondieminx Tue 19-Mar-13 09:10:37

So less money, which is available to fewer parents?

This isn't help for working families, it's yet another cut!

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 09:10:44

yes, I think 1 child = worse off, >1 child = better off.

blondieminx Tue 19-Mar-13 09:13:39

I'm writing to my MP about this, and will include my figures and an FOI request. I'm so angry

find out contact details for your MP here

MadHairDay Tue 19-Mar-13 09:13:58

What about those families where one parent is unable to work through disability/illness, if the childcare plan only applies to those with 2 working parents? Many people in this situation use the childcare vouchers the earning parent gets as the disabled parent is unable to look after the dcs all the time during the day.

Another way of screwing over the disabled then sad

testbunny Tue 19-Mar-13 09:14:53

I have heard it's under-12s

moogy1a Tue 19-Mar-13 09:17:52

I'm a childminder. At the moment, 2 out of my 3 families would lose out. If they can't afford to go to work and pay for childcare, it's not viable for me to continue so I'm also out of work. The one family which doesn't get any help with childcare costs would then lose me as a carer and their children would have to find alternatives. They've been with me for 7 years and would be very very upset.
I'd then be forced to find alternative work for which I'd have to pay for childcare which I wouldn't be able to afford!
shit shit shit idea.

Whydobabiescry Tue 19-Mar-13 09:18:26

When I first Heard the headline on Breakfast I thought hurray something to take away the bitter taste of losing child benefit, then I I realised that its not starting until 2015sad. Then I worked out that we will lose our childcare vouchers hmmhmm then I found out that you have to pay the childcare costs up front and claim the 20% back through your tax at the end of the yearhmmhmmhmm.

Overall I'm not happy as yet again DH and I will be much worse off, and I'm still smarting from losing our CB even though DH is only just over the limit and families with incomes up to £118 can still get it.

Every which way we turn we seem to be penalised for working hard and trying our best, this condem government said it was going to be pro parents but patently that was a lie. I always remember my mother telling me in the 70's that she was always better off when labour were in and worse off under the Tories (this was even pre thatcher) and I have to say that where working people are concerned especially those with children she was right.

drnooo Tue 19-Mar-13 09:20:53


Darlingclementime correctly noted that the only real beneficiary here is business, or rather the economy. The general thrust of successive governments’ childcare agendas has been, quite correctly, partly a drive to turn all SAHPs into workers rather than mere parents. Staying at home and bringing up your children? How is that helping global economic recovery?

So I enjoyed hearing the minister on the Today programme just now, helpfully rebranding looking after 2-year-olds as ‘early years education’. That’s the ticket.

But hey, why stop there? The government could go so much further. It would surely be better for the economy if Mums and Dads got back to work even sooner. Maternity and paternity leave must be costing us billions. Why not take a quick snap and movie of the little monkeys when they pop out in the labour ward – there’s a load of new jobs there, by the way, for delivery room camera crews - then smack the parents full of drugs to reduce pain and separation anxiety before a taxi whips them straight back to the office, complete with a party bag of pads to mop up inconvenient spillages on the office upholstery? Meanwhile, some kind of conveyor belt whisks each new kid to the nearest registered childminder, where it lives happily and gets a proper early-years education extending for, oh, about the next 21 years, before graduating to play its own part in high capitalism and begin breeding more workers.

Just imagine all the extra money we could earn, all the extra stuff we could buy, if we outsourced parenting entirely and devoted ourselves to the job of earning and spending more money! grin

(NB: Sometimes, I get accused of being a bit sarcastic... The above me veting with a satirical response to the anguish these changes are stoking up, so heartfelt and obvious in the many posts above. I also fear that there is a bigger debate to be had here, but that getting parents worried about how many pounds we’ll earn or lose by tweaks to the childcare system is a neat way of diverting attention. That's it from me. Better stop typing and earn some money now.)

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 09:22:34

bigkidsdidit it cuts off at 5 as well, which the current scheme is up to 12 or 15. So it's everyone with less than one child under 5 worse off. It's a stealth cut surely? And also previously you can claim childcare vouchers of worth £930 tax free from one parent. Now you can't claim unless you both work. So this is also against SAHMs. Do they say anything about part time workers? Do they get a pro rata benefit? As in the current scheme you can claim the max amount even if you are part time.

bigkidsdidit Tue 19-Mar-13 09:24:29

none of this surprises me in the least, tbh. Tory govts screw everyone except big business, every time.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 09:26:20

Bluey 2 earners get 2 times the tax threshold,1 earner only gets 1.

So a family on 60k with 1 salary pay more tax than a family on 2 x 30k and they lose their CB.

BlueyDragon Tue 19-Mar-13 09:33:52

True, Kazoo. There is a sliding scale for loss of tax allowance over £100k but obviously that doesn't affect the earning level you're talking about.

It can't be that hard to come up with something simple and fair?

Dotty342kids Tue 19-Mar-13 09:39:01

I've just written to my MP as I think this is just insanity.
I live in a rural area where holiday childcare is almost non existant. What there is tends to be the odd day of dance / football / drama run by voluntary organisations or sports clubs. None of whom are OFSTED registered so can't use either the current vouchers for this anyway but we did at least have our Child Benefit to pay for this until recently. That stopped in January (and no, we're not super high earners, just that my DH earns just over the threshold where it stops).
And now this lunacy! We do still buy employer childcare vouchers and are able to use them to pay for the wraparound care before / after school a couple of days per week and, thank goodness, we can continue to use these. However, families like ours in future, won't have that option as it's only going to be available for families with children under 5 to begin with! What on earth is that about? Do kids stop needing childcare after that age or something?!
This makes me soooo cross.
Please, write to your MPs too - they need to hear from parents.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 09:40:40

You'd think wouldn't you considering the education the Bullingdon Three have had.


musicalfamily Tue 19-Mar-13 09:45:50

I don't see what was wrong with childcare vouchers. The argument is that they weren't offered by all businesses or self-employed, surely all the had to do is find a way for them to be made available to anyone earning rather than scrap a system that worked well for one that screws most people over?

melodyangel Tue 19-Mar-13 09:50:36

Are they scraping the old scheme or just closing it for new parents? BBC web site seems to suggest that if you already claim the vouchers you can continue to do so.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 09:52:41

You can continue if you are on the old scheme it seems. But surely that's only good until you change jobs?

TantieTowie Tue 19-Mar-13 09:54:33

It's like they never ask anyone that would be affected by their policies - just go for what they think amongst themselves, from their own experience, in that room. Because consultation would just be too much effort wouldn't it? hmm

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 09:59:10

But why should families on 300k get help,just why?

I don't get why those of us on 50-60 get punished and the mega rich get rewarded just because both parents work.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:01:47

Having just lost 2.5k a year in child benefit as dh earns just over the threshold and we have 3 dc, this is the final straw. I think this government must hate me nearly as much as I hate them. My youngest will be 5 in 2015, just my luck again!!

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:04:06

Also, what happens if one parent is studying at college or university? Surely they will still need child care. Will educating yourself not be classed a worthy of help?

musicalfamily Tue 19-Mar-13 10:08:57

Parents wanting to retrain will be a thing of the past unless they are insanely well off. They are facing a HUGE rise in university/further education fees, many will have lost Child Benefit and now this.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:12:26

God I really hate this government. They have given my family a serious kicking. We just don't know what to do for the best anymore.

It's good news that the self-employed and people who previously didn't earn enough for vouchers can now get help with childcare. But that's where it ends.

Most people will now be getting less help with childcare, and we were already paying the highest fees in Europe. If the government wants to get the economy moving they need to help parents get back into work, not hinder them by reducing the amount of help they get.

I will also be interested to find out if students count. I'm a full-time student, so my DC are in childcare after school to 6pm. But if I'm deemed to be "not working" that means our family won't be eligible any more and we'll be screwed.

I mean, it's annoying enough that I can't claim vouchers as a student, but at least DH can so we get some help. They can't just refuse to help families where one is in education, surely?

Sill me, of course they can. They've screwed over the disabled and the poor, why would they care about students and families.

bonkersLFDT20 Tue 19-Mar-13 10:18:00

"Parents who already claim childcare vouchers through the old scheme would be able to continue to do so if they wish, but it would be closed to new claimants who would be moved to the new tax-free childcare scheme."

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 10:19:38

Annie you won't be claiming under the new scheme. It doesn't cover children over 5. Seeing they are at school, they probably are over the age limit.

Didn't someone upthread say the limit was age 12?

And since when do childcare requirements stop once children go to school?

FFS, what idiots. And this is being touted as "so helpful to working parents".

madamimadam Tue 19-Mar-13 10:21:47

Just wanted to add my voice to those saying the scheme is just yet another pisspoor, incoherent govt policy, which seems to have been rushed out to give Osborne a 'feelgood' factor before the Budget. They clearly think we're stupid.

Why they can't simply make childcare tax deductible (esp as chauffeurs are hmm)? Is that not a fairer solution?

(And on a side note, that BBC report by Allegra Stratton. It's not a model of detached analysis is it? More a copy & paste of the govt press release. Is she related to anyone in the Coalition? Or just a bit dense?)

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 19-Mar-13 10:22:31

So in 2015 I will graduate and my dc will be 4 and 9, rising 5 and 10 in the autumn. Currently dh pays the maximum vouchers so will now not be able to leave his current employer so we can continue to save and pay for wraparound care. Will the voucher scheme be phased out over time?

What we would have done was have me pay into the vouchers too when I re-entered the workplace to cover the extra cost occasioned by holiday care for 2dc. This is going to be another Tory shambles isn't it? hmm

Just had a look - so it will start with under 5s and older children will be included later. And if you can stay on vouchers, all you need to do is hold on to those until school age-children are included.

We're moving to a new area once I finish my studies at the end of next year, so DH will be changing jobs then. Hopefully that will be in time for him to get into a new voucher scheme before it's too late.


OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 10:23:01
anastaisia Tue 19-Mar-13 10:23:04

Vouchers seem to be still available if you already have them when the scheme comes in. It's not per family but per child. The scheme is starting with under 5s but will grow to include up to 12s. Help for people getting tax credits (later universal credit) is being worked out separately. Martin Lewis seems to think (with an 'at a first glance' disclaimer) that it benefits people not makes them worse off.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 10:24:33

The scheme will initially only be open to pay for children under five

And To be introduced from 2015, it would cover children up to five years old, but will build up "over time" to include under-12s

Another one who agrees that making childcare tax-deductible is the way forward. Then we all get remuneration directly in proportion to how much me earn and how much we spend on childcare. Couldn't be more fair.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:26

Who knows what over time means?

lljkk Tue 19-Mar-13 10:27:54

I thought it would be good, since we never worked for anyone who offered vouchers and we didn't get childcare element of CTC. But since it's only for under 5s for the first year or 2 then we'll likely get nothing.
If lucky I'll get back at around £20k; taking childcare out of just my salary means working for about £1.50/hour take home (plus NI & pension, maybe). I've no idea how folk cope if on lower salaries.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:31:49

Is that right lunatic? I know that vouchers reduce your taxable income, but won't this new system work in the same way, in that you will claim back the tax relief?

sundaymondaytuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 10:34:13

Will they be scrapping the free 15 hours a week for over 3's?

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:34:49

Why does everything have to so bloody complicated? How about rather than all these complex, vote catching 'add ons', why don't the bastards just tax us all less?

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:35:38

God I hope not sundaymonday. I've been worried about that too. I just don't trust them hmm

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 10:38:22

I haven't read every page of this thread but has anybody else mentioned that apparently this will apply to the self employed? I can only say ABOUT BLOODY TIME to that - I am self employed because I was made redundant and there were no other jobs. I don't get sick or holiday pay and I am going through maternity on just Mat Allowance from Day1, there's no chance of childcare vouchers for me. At LAST in this proposal there is finally something that applies to us too. I agree that the proposal is not ideal but whatever happens between now and it being implemented, it needs to continue to include the self employed who get a really bum deal from all other govt policies.

mamalovebird Tue 19-Mar-13 10:40:14

So let me get this straight. I have one DS who will be in school by 2015 and one DC due in June this year so will be in nursery. DH earns over the threshold for us to lose CB and I work part time. We both claim full childcare vouchers.

Child benefit lost (£33.80 per week x 52 weeks)£1758
Tax savings lost in abolishing vouchers (£933 + £1225)£2158
Claim back for one child in childcare(1200)
(assuming full claim of £1200)

NET LOSS£2715 per year. (roughly £226 a month)

This is assuming we get the full claim back on childcare costs which I doubt we would get as I imagine they’ll stagger it based on earninngs.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 10:43:03

Sounds about right mama. Don't you just love this government!

sundaymondaytuesday Tue 19-Mar-13 10:45:36

But doesn't it only apply to self employed people who pay tax?

I don't earn enough to pay tax because I'm not full time as I can only afford limited childcare (chicken and egg scenario). However I won't benefit from this proposal because I'm not a tax payer.

When both children are in school I will be more or less full time and hopefully a tax payer.

mamalovebird Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:57

Jesus wept, I hoped I was missing something.

all this and add on the relaxing of ratios, which will just mean nurseries that keep the current ratios charging more for a 'premium' service and we may go top of the league for the most expensive childcare in the world. Top marks Dave hmm.

Does anyone know how it would work if DH is currently claiming vouchers (and would like to continue to do so) and I (self-employed) want to claim back the £1200? Would this be allowed?

God, this just makes a lot of assumptions about family structure, doesn't it? I've yet to crunch the numbers, but I think we'd be worse off.

My DH and his ex split childcare costs down the middle for my DSD, because they have a 50:50 access arrangement. We use childcare vouchers to help bring down the costs of paying for our half. In two years' time, DSD will be 9, so she will still need a childminder to look after her after school. There goes the assistance with paying for her care.

But even if the Government changes its mind and extends the scheme to over-fives in 2015, there is still an issue for our family. DH and I would like to have more children together. I plan to take maternity leave when said children are babies. But I had also planned to keep DSD with her current childminder, because her mother needs childcare for her weeks with DSD, whether I'm on mat leave or not. And the way our rota is set up, it wouldn't make business sense for the CM to have DSD part-time. And changing the rota to suit one year of mat leave for me seems like a lot of unnecessary upheaval for DSD. So, if there is a baby for me to take care of in 2015, I'm under the impression that DH and I would still not be eligible for childcare assistance for DSD under this new scheme, because I would be on maternity and therefore "not working". Whereas, we could continue to access a bit of assistance through the current employers' childcare vouchers scheme - doesn't matter if I'm sitting in an office or not.

sundaymondaytuesday - I hope not; I''m in the same scenario as you. We can only afford a few hours for DD2 at nursery per week, and this just about allows me to keep on top of the work I do have (including working in the evenings and weekends where necessary).
To increase my income to taxable levels, I'd have to spend substantially more time working, but can't do it when I'm looking after DD. Aargh.

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 11:03:53

I think you do have to pay tax to benefit if you're s-e but if you do the calculations it might make it financially possible for you to buy more childcare if it means earning a bit more. I'm planning on working a minimum of 2 days a week (some of which will be weekends and evenings with DH doing childcare).

The tax threshold equates to working 2.5days a week if working for minimum wage (or less if earning more per hour) so I guess if you're earning less then I guess they would say you are mostly a SAHP doing a bit of work, rather than mostly working.

MoreBeta Tue 19-Mar-13 11:11:27


Why on earth don't they just give everybody a decent tax free personal allowance if they work and get rid of all these special schemes that are hugely costly and complicated to deliver and claim.

Osborne has been witterong about raisng the personal allowance to £10k as an aspiration for years. Just give everybody a tax free £15k allowance and get rid of every other 'in work' benefit and allowance - just give everyone who actually works a decent incentive!

Honestly, what with tax credits, which are a pernicious system invented by Labour to give some voters some of their tax money back and all sorts of fiddling about with benefits and allowances the system gets ever more Byzantine by the day.

I voted for the Conservative party and got the Coalition and am sick to death of them. UKIP get my vote - could they be really any worse?

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 11:13:13

My sentiments exactly morebeta

ticklemyboobsofsteel Tue 19-Mar-13 11:35:14

I agree, morebeta. I don't [i]think[/i] I'm unintelligent but I'm really struggling with this one.

I am registered with a childcare voucher scheme but suspended payments when DH became a SAHD... Do you think it's worth it, or even possible, to start making small token payments again to make sure we don't lose out? DS will be going into childcare part-time again soon as DH is returning to work.

ticklemyboobsofsteel Tue 19-Mar-13 11:35:28

Ah flaps. Italics fail...

mimmum Tue 19-Mar-13 11:37:33

It is detrimental for low earners, part time workers and sahp's, as to be eligible you have to both be earning over £10,000 a year.

anastaisia Tue 19-Mar-13 11:41:56

but mimmum there's separate childcare support built into tax credits/universal credit for low earners. And it's a childcare policy, why would a family with a SAHP need it? Interested to see how it impacts on families with a student parent though - that could be a downside.

mimmum Tue 19-Mar-13 11:43:10

£10,000 p.a. Equates to 29 hours a week at the minimum wage, not 12.5 hours a week.

Xenia Tue 19-Mar-13 11:44:38

A full time childcare place in a nursery in London is £14k a year so two children rae £28k. If you have three as we did, under 4, then getting a daily nanny £25k to £30k) is cheaper. £1200 is a kind of laughable joke which is only compensating middle earners for losing child benefit and a crude attempt for Cameron the arch sexist to regain some of the female vote which he has already utterly lost through low numbers of women in the cabinet, calm down dear etc etc It is not coming in for 2 years and only applies initially to under 5s and is operated in a differnt way for those who earn tax credits. I am not sure why he bothered.

However to the extent it encourages women into full time work and benefits their position in feminist terms by eradicating housewives then it is good. I would rather a working parent had childcare help than a housewife.

So who will actually benefit? Errrrrrrr..............

A couple both earning over £10,000 but with childcare costs in line with the pitiful £6000 AND who have more than one under 5 in childcare in 2015.

And not benefiting - anybody who works part time or studies or doesn't work at all, anybody claiming vouchers by two parents for only one child, anybody with children over the age of 5 but still in childcare.........

Typical tories - both stupid and mean!

mimmum Tue 19-Mar-13 11:47:20

If one parent earns a higher wage then the family isn't eligible for these tax credits, I for example work part time in social care for a minimum wage, but my husband has a well paid job and we receive no tax credits. If I can't get help with child care I can't work though as we are not that well off. Surely my work is important even though it is badly paid. So it seems I must work full time or not at all.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:02:11

Forgive me if im totally wrong here.

But i remember a warning when entering into voucher scheme that salary sacrafice means you dimishing you pension in later life so its just moving money over time ie fowards to help give relief on childcare.

The fact the flipping costs have to be paid upfront and then claimed back a pain in arse.

But I gather the new cb rules between 50-60k tapers off so they wmay get cb then have to pay it back.

Seems like lots extra work for inland revenue.

I not happy almost makes me want to vote labour.

Glad some of you see my point of veiw about only 1parent working.

did anyone see something like 1800 people applied for 8part time jobs at costa coffee thetes not enough jobs for people who want work never mind forcing every sahm mum onto job market.

As a sahm mum I feel made to feel bit worthless like im a non person a shirker.

We get to keep cb just.

we struggle each month putting our toddlers in preschool education is our choice and its a finacial sacrafice we do it as good for their development.

Some preschool sessions only 2.5hours so lost walking to and from school.

I wanted to go back to uni but cant afford the childcare and also cant afford the 9k a year tuition as be my 2nd degree.

My other 2options are min wage job which wants full flexibility and on paper my qualifications and expereince pre kids make me overqualifued under 21s are cheaper.

option 3self employment which been trying to get off ground this year but been so skint as had childcare, car tax, kids needed new clothes, other unexpected bills as everythings going up thankfully rents not.

We are squeezed middle -guess they think middle class parents wont protest or riot just quietly accept it..

husband pays tax and ni, we lost tax credits we get child benefit no housing on private rental havent got chance in hell gettting social cant afford to buy.

I use local nursery 1day a week for middle child so therefore helping fund local economy.

I also send her to state preschool which like most is a charity.
As acharity cannot run without a committee then I got talked into volunteering as treasurer which takes up more time and stress then I would like, numbers are already down as people waiting for funding. Started dd2 in spet as she was 3 in sept and had to pay £500 fees for term 1 and 2 for 1.5 days a week which is cheap compared to some areas as the grant fundings term after 3rd birthday.

As shes misfortune being 16days past 31st august she cant start school until next september which means more time paying childcare as eldest started at 4.5 yes you can defer but not push them foward.

The grant funding runs 38weeks a year and nursery 51weeks a year claim 2sessions at nursery so have to top up anyway hence why use vouchers in 1st place as was hoping to start dd3 as hes 2 next month.

Childcare vouchers can also be used in private schools I think.

I worry all 3kids wont get decent school place.
new school we had to move as old one was failing does not have an after school club or a holiday club has breckfast club.

Looked round a few local schools and not many state ones are working family freindly so most use childminders or go private hich offers wrap around.

Its easier to have a younger child in day nursery 8-6

When I worked full time after petrol, full time nursery fees hardly see bchild or husband dident make it worth working.

I envy people who have family that help even know 1lady whos company has nursery on site she has well paid job and her husbands a teacher and despite having 2kids in childcare its worth their while as they both high earners.

feel like its all about timing and I always too late to everything

I was 1st year of tuition fees and student loan
I dident buy a house when I should have

Had couple unlucky breaks in career got sidelined for promotion when on maternity when returned full time got treated so badly I left. Retail by way so they expect bank holidays, nights and weekends.

wanted to retrain to be social worker but cant afford to do that.

Husband works 50+_hours most weeks this week unexpected 2days up north. my family not hands on and over hour away hardly see the kids.

Anyway must dash have to make flip[ping easter bonnet, that was on top of commic relef and world book day and they break up here on friday. 3kids is a very busy job as 2schools.1.2miles apart by foot as buses so blooming expensive, clubs, homework, holidays, housework, washing its neverending.

I understand they want more people to go work but feels like another kick to a group already had a few kicks.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Tue 19-Mar-13 12:15:51

There are some advantages to the scheme over childcare vouchers:

It will be available to the self employed and won't be dependent upon your employer offering childcare vouchers. I believe it is only a small number of employers who currently offer childcare vouchers. My husband is going to try to persuade his employers to offer childcare vouchers (as we are expecting our first child in August) but there is no certainty they will. If they refuse, we won't get anything at all towards our childcare as I am self employed.

The disadvantages would seem to be that the amount of saving for parents is reduced, as the maximum per saving per household will be £1200 per year.

Currently, with childcare vouchers, a couple who are both basic rate tax payers each get a saving of £933 per year, so £1866. Higher rate tax payers get £623 each.

However, those already signed up to childcare voucher scheme won't lose out as they can continue to receive the vouchers rather than switch to the new scheme.

I think the idea is a good one because it benefits everyone who works, not just those who are lucky enough to have employers signed up to the scheme but the government needs to look at the figures (re: average childcare costs) properly as they are completely to cock!

imustbepatient Tue 19-Mar-13 12:21:21

Sorry if this has been said already (haven't had time to read the whole thread) but one paragraph in the bbc article on this says:

"Parents who already claim child care vouchers through the old scheme will be able to continue to do so if they wish"

It is just going to be closed to new claimants. Not great for the new claimants but for those of you worried about the huge financial impact that this new scheme would have on your existing set up, it sounds like you can choose to keep your vouchers.

ProbablyJustGas raises a valid point - if they will only pay out when both parents work, what will happen in blended families? If dad and mum work but step-mum doesn't, for example? Horribly complicated.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:30:05 mumsnet link

Are there any restrictions?
Yes each parent must earn less than £150,000 a year. So two parents in one family earning£299,999.98 jointly will still be eligible.

so 2people on 99k get cb kept and this fab.

at moment current scheme gives lower rate for higher rate tax payers.not to mention slight cut in higher rate tax in april.

wonder if mps household salary is this as dave and sam both work.
Then theres the balls family
nick clegg and miriam.

Under the new scheme, parents can claim £1,200 per child, per year, towards the cost of childcare. This means a potential loss of £660 a year for those families currently saving £1,866 (ie basic rate tax payers with one child), but gains for families of basic rate tax payers with more than one child, and for higher-rate tax payers, because unlike the current childcare vouchers, the new scheme won't be means-tested.

combined with fact each paret has to earn min of 10k

cant be used initially for 5-12 year olds.

theres much less flexibility than old system.

Its not really like tax credits we not really just being given money to top up outr low wages.

hubbys entered into salary sacrafice where they take money from his wages and saves not a massive amount on tax.

They could have reformed current system or mad childcare tax decuctable.

wonder if they bring in married couples next?
have no idea how much that save.

ind it odd we taxed as indivuals but when it comes to benefits its measured differently.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:31:15
OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 12:39:38

mam29 that's not how pension works re salary sacrifice. I just took my calculator out and went our intranet benefits page. I confirmed that the contribution of myself and my company is using my base salary. That is the salary I get before salary sacrifices and bonuses. Therefore, doing salary sacrifice does not affect my pensions at all.

If you are talking about NI contributions, yes, then you need to make sure you are still contributing enough. But correct me if I'm wrong. If you don't earn enough to make salary sacrifices for childcare vouchers and private pensions, then you are probably entitled to working tax credits. In that case you are not advised to take the vouchers anyway.

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 19-Mar-13 12:55:16

Popping in to let you know - as I see mam29 has already done - that we've put together a brief piece on the new scheme, who's eligible, how you apply etc.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 12:57:13

Thanks one little toddler think I was confusing tax with ni as remember some sort of warning.

under new scheme if I stay at home I cant use them
if i go back or become self employed and earn under 10k cant use them

really I could only go back part time which not sure would equal 10grand a year.

If I vcant get 1 job and get 2part time jobs then think I pay higher rate tax on 2nd job.

If I earnt low wage still couldent be eligible for tax credits as hubby earns too much.

Theres so many conditions that would be hard to meet in a good economy never mind now and also assume childcares readily availaible.

Unlike mps we dont get time off during term time.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Mar-13 12:57:58

I said all along that the gov would do this. They are traditionally supportive of the nuclear family with a sahp. Even as a sahm I don't agree with this, it just seems they are out to screw many people.
It just seems such a shame that those on the highest pay get to keep their benefit whilst those at the bottom are losing theirs.
So sorry to those who will be forced out of work.
I think the only people who don't lose are sahp's whose partners receive Tax credits and are low income as they only get cb.

kradlum Tue 19-Mar-13 13:12:52

While this is a terrible policy for many reasons, what many people posting here are missing is that if you are already in the childcare vouchers scheme then you can continue with the old scheme, so at least you will not lose out that way.

This scheme is bad for - people paying more than the basic rate of tax, people with only one child in childcare, people who use childcare vouchers to pay for their school aged children's pre/post school care, families with a sahp.

This scheme is good for - people whose company didn't offer childcare vouchers.

It seems to have been thought up by people who have no idea about the needs of working families, and no idea of the real costs of childcare.

spickles Tue 19-Mar-13 13:23:42

Great news for the self employed at last.
Also those already in childcare vouchers can continue if that is better for them.
And VERY important point - the tax saving of the new scheme is per child! Hurrah for that.
And single parents get the new scheme.

There is a lot of good in this new scheme. Lets not knock it all for the sake of it.

NickECave Tue 19-Mar-13 13:29:36

Kradlum, you can only stay with the existing scheme if you stay with your current employer. As soon as either DH or I moved to a different employer then we would have to move to the new scheme and if they don't roll it out immediately to over 5s then we would get nothing as our children will be school age in 2015

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 13:29:55

I just can't believe that they're giving a tax subsidy to families earning up to 300k, but removing child benefit from single income families on 50 - 60k. I thought they said that families on 50k were affluent. Well what the bloody hell are families on up to 300k then? Deserving I suppose confused

spickles - I think everyone is in support of extending childcare subsidies to those who currently aren't eligible. But that's pretty much the only good thing about this new system, and they could just as easily extend what is already in place to everyone.

We stand to lose support completely if DH changes jobs. So that means he's chained to his current employer now until I resume work after my degree.

So if you don't mind I will knock this new scheme.

ddsmellysocks Tue 19-Mar-13 13:41:09

I do not understand how they can not have a ceiling on earnings for this but have one for child benefit. What on earth are they doing? Seems to me they keep working on messing things up just to create work for themselves ie to keep themselves in work.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:46:24

I know.

Boris said those on 50-60 were wealthy so not eligible for CB but those on a joint income of 100 still are and now those on 300 are eligible for help with childcare.

If a family on 300k isn't wealthy what is it?

Can answer that myself- super rich!

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Mar-13 13:47:28


Why would a feminist take away the choice to be a sahm, its a contradiction in terms. Surely, its a fight for choice and the right to do as we please?

spickles Tue 19-Mar-13 13:47:58

Hi Annie - im sorry i dont understand why you would lose the benefit if DH changes job - dont you qualify for the new scheme? you probably have already stated why in a post above but i cant reread to see who said what!
I personally dont stand to beneift as all kids over 5 by 2015 - but i really see the benefit in helping more with ridiculous costs of pre school childcare per child, and my partner is self employed which has always been an annoyance of the current scheme.

shortridge1980 Tue 19-Mar-13 14:05:08

I think this helps me. I work full time and my wife part time (3.5 days a week) Both employers take part in voucher scheme. We have 1 child who is 18 months old and thinking about having another. Both are basic rate tax payers.

We currently save £933 each (figure from child voucher website) via the voucher scheme. This means we save £1866 between us.

Under the new plans this will drop to £1200. However we are planning to have another child which would start child care around the time this would come in. This means we would get £2400 (£1200 x 2)a year vs.. the £1866 on the old system which did nothing to allow for more than one child.

I know the current plan is that this stops as 5 years old but with plans to extend to 12 years old.

Would we be the only ones that seem to benefit or am I missing something?

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 14:10:35

spickles Annie is currently in education. If you change jobs, you normally change childcare voucher providers. I think we assume this means we are exiting and re-entering the scheme. Employers usually only pay their vouchers to one provider. The new scheme is only available to those with two incomes, both over £10k.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 14:12:33

shortridge I think you will benefit from the new system. Another difference is that that while your wife is on maternity, both you and your wife can still get childcare vouchers. This amount can be built up for future childcare costs. I don't believe you can do that under the new scheme.

zizilee Tue 19-Mar-13 14:30:08

Have a bit of an issue when the government state both parents working in the same household I am working and always have worked full time and pay all the chiildcare whilst my soon to be ex husband earns 5 times more than me but is obviously working..... does the fact I am technically a "single" mother exclude me from this government deal???

ICBINEG Tue 19-Mar-13 14:32:21

I have a more basic problem with all this:

Surely getting people (women) back to work is currently limited by the number of jobs, not childcare costs?

Last time I checked we have unemployment at 8% so we don't have a labour shortage?

badguider Tue 19-Mar-13 14:35:07

zizi - no, single parents who are working WILL qualify, it's just households with two parents where both have to be working (because sahp don't need childcare in the same way). I am interested to know what happens with one parent in f/t education though??

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 14:36:29

Yes I agree ICBINEG. I would have thought it would make more sense to not pay people in tax breaks for both parents to work, particularly when there are families where no one works and are desperately seeking employment. Why pay someone a few extra grand in tax breaks when they are already earning 100k+? Doesn't make sense to me either.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 14:38:18

Sorry, should have added, it's just another tax break for the rich.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 14:39:55

There are skills shortages in certain sectors. Just because you have vacancies doesn't mean you can filled them with the currently unemployed.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 14:42:25

And yes, I'm basically saying it's something for the rich. Most of the unemployed won't have the qualification or experience with those £100k jobs. That seems to be what osborne and friends see. Doesn't our new head of england earning over £800k a year? They have to find someone from Canada to fill that position. We should open some wine that he's not entitled to the new childcare tax saving scheme /sarcasm

Xenia Tue 19-Mar-13 14:43:47

more, I won't debate it on this thread but in essence the more women who work part time whilst their husbands earn the big bucks the worse the position of women. The personal is political.

As childcare for 3 (or 5 in our case in the past) children is about £30k if you both work full time £1200 per child is a bit of joke and hardly worth all this effort and cost to the nation. As apparently only 8% of women earn over £40k anyway Radio 4 said this morning hardly any women on high sums are affected and it was simply simplicity which meant the rules have a high cap. They could just as well not have had a cap for all the difference it would have made but some kind of cap was thought desirable (although gosh those couples on £300k a year pay so very much tax to this nation and obtain no child benefit giving them a tiny tax break like this and making it universal if you have childcare costs on a child under 5 and work would not have done much harm,.

ICBINEG Tue 19-Mar-13 14:51:49

Oh! I am in the 8% of nice for me.

Won't get anything from this scheme as my husband is SAHP.

The thing stopping him from working is certainly not childcare costs and in fact for 'skilled labour' it hardly ever will be. Surely it is people going in to lower paid jobs that would find childcare costs prohibitive?

So I ask again, how is this helping people get back to work when the real problem is 8% unemployment?

Xenia Tue 19-Mar-13 14:54:15

It doesn't help people get back to work at all. It's a pretty transparent bribe to middle earners which is unlikely to work.

8% surprised me (it even includes my 20 something daughters) as 60% of graduates now are women and until 30 women out earn men and more women are millionaires in the Uk than men etc etc. I am not sure how many men earn over £40k.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 14:56:50

I'm not the 8% sad

No I don't think this government is interested in helping people to get back to work.

Owllady Tue 19-Mar-13 14:57:52

helping people, or helping women?

all of their policies so far have affected women in a negative capacity

ICBINEG Tue 19-Mar-13 15:00:18

well then selling it as 'getting women back into work' is bullshit then.

Just case I had gone mad.

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 19-Mar-13 15:04:24

As you say if I find a job I could cover childcare. (Thank god I am employes atm). Sounds like your DH is in the same category. It's finding the jobs that is the problem. The government solution seems to be firing more austerity.

jellybeans Tue 19-Mar-13 15:12:08

It is helps struggling people then i can see the good side to it although not sure who it will help as yet and why those on 150K need help. It will probably also annoy those who say if you choose the lifestyle choice of a child you should pay for your own childcare (not my view but some people thing that way).

As a SAHP it just makes me further dislike the government trying to push both parents into full time work and kids into childcare. Many people have their own systems that work well; a SAHP, working around each other etc etc. Why not just increase CB so people can use it to EITHER SAH or towards nursery fees. OH YEAH because they only want you to make one choice-to both work f/t! (Especially as studies often show many families want a parent at home full or part time the first few years)

It is hardly progression going from it only being acceptable to be a housewife/mother at one time to being only acceptable to work full time. Just as restrictive as in the 1950s! We are not just talking women but SAHD also!

Xenia Tue 19-Mar-13 15:35:31

But there are very few SAHD and many many women at home so this is a nudge from the state to women to say if possible get a job and contribute to the nation by paying taxes (although there are few jobs to be had) and it doesn't come into force until 2015. I prefer fiscally neutral and simple measures - low flat taxes for all and then it's up to you if you want to keep 2 horses, 6 cats, have an expensive hobby or children.

Viviennemary Tue 19-Mar-13 16:05:44

It sounds a total waste of time. They take away the child benefit and give this. It will hardly make a dent in most people's childcare bill. It doesn't affect me but I can see what a complete waste of time it is for most people. And what on earth is the point of announcing it now. It doesn't even come into effect till after the next election.

spickles, as OneLittleToddleTerror said, because I'm in full-time education, I count as "not working", in the same class as a SAHP so apparently don't need childcare. Since only DH is actually employed, as a couple we won't qualify for the new scheme. They seem to have Not Noticed that students are actually out of the house and need childcare. I'm in the lab 9-5:30 daily.

bluesausage Tue 19-Mar-13 17:04:46

It's a simple equation: more children equals more future tax revenue, both parents working equals more tax revenue. Sadly, anyone who thinks the government, any government devises new policies for any other reason, altruism perhaps, is niaive.

3littlefrogs Tue 19-Mar-13 19:28:11

I think everyone should pay a percentage of their income for childcare. That way those on high salaries would pay more, making good quality childcare accessible for everyone.

It is ridiculous that couples earning £150K should get a rebate at the same rate as someone earning £15K a year. They don't need it.

Single parents should probably pay a smaller percentage as they only have one wage coming in.

If everyone paid (for example) 15% - 20% would that work?

I know it took me a couple of years to actually keep more than about 20% of my salary, but I kept going because I needed to keep my job/career.

MamaBear17 Tue 19-Mar-13 19:45:27

I read today that people already enrolled in the voucher scheme could continue if they wished, but they would not be accepting new starters from 2015. We would be worse off. At the moment, both hubby and I buy the vouchers saving us £1866 per year. We will not stop claiming the vouchers if we dont have to, although with no plans for baby no 2 for a few years we might end up worse off second time around. Annoying to say the least.

Ocelotl Tue 19-Mar-13 19:51:17

This deal is a double sword because 1) the amount of credits will be lower than it is now and b) if it is only offered to families where both parents work it doesn't help the non-working parent get some childcare while they look for wo.k. It's a lot easier to find a job/work part-time or flexibly if you already have childcare. Hmm...

TheRivieraKid Tue 19-Mar-13 19:51:49

I don't think this point has been made yet but from what I'm reading - since the majority of those who claim childcare vouchers work in the public sector (although not exclusively, I know that), if the voucher scheme ends, those who used the voucher scheme would be worse off. Which smacks a bit of yet another government decision to make working conditions worse for the public sector, and we know how much the Tories looove public sector workers. hmm

SuffolkNWhat Tue 19-Mar-13 20:01:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 19-Mar-13 20:20:25

Dh works in the public sector and I am currently a SAHM. Our youngest is not 2 yet and I am planning on trying to find work when he gets his 15 free hours in a year or so if the government haven't abolished that by then. Does anyone know if Dh could start claiming the vouchers at work in 2014 and save them up for 2015, just so that we can be in the system as it were so that when I find work we are not moved onto the new system and then not eligible as ds would be nearly 5?

jasperc163 Tue 19-Mar-13 20:40:44

This whole thing is totally illogical, and I have to hope that they will keep the voucher system going alongside (though I have my doubts?)

At the moment DH and I claim the full £243 each month each. By 2014 our youngest will be 5 and so theoretially neither would initially be eligble for the new system!! Our childare costs do not disappear once school starts as we have after school and holidays.

Anyone seen anything official saying that the voucher system will remain? They've already taken our child benefit ffs!

mylovelymonster Tue 19-Mar-13 20:43:29

I am generally fairly pro-ConDem ( I know, I know) but just want to say that this is a pointless and rubbish measure that shows implicitly how OUT OF TOUCH WITH REAL PEOPLE these poilticians are.
£1200 a year towards childcare when full-time childcare is £10-12k a year will not make a difference to whether the second parent is able to go out and get a job/keep a job or not. The universallity of it - each parent can earn up to £150k!!!!! - is directing money where it is clearly not needed. MORE money needs to be directed at those earning average salaries and less, or there needs to be far more tax brackets to support people on lower salaries so they can keep more money to support their families and not subsidise those who can well afford & probably do, to keep a full-time live-in nanny.

Am outraged at the notion that this is a carrot for which we are going to be keen to vote them back in???? Is likely to go the other way. I have never voted Labour, but until someone gets an actual grip, that looks more & more likely.
I hope some researcher is picking all this feedback up to take back to the next policy focus meeting.

mylovelymonster Tue 19-Mar-13 20:45:11

We do childcare vouchers - private sector. We are normal average salary professional types. It won't affect us as our two will be out of childcare by then.

mam29 Tue 19-Mar-13 20:45:30

Its a cut as its less than 2parents currently save.

its got so many conditions that it wont help as many people despite offering 1200 per child.

it hardly make dent in childcare costs.

C4news todat cathy newman intereveiwed liz truss and must ahve asked her same question 5times.

do you believe goverment should encourage all mothers to work.

she waffled and said shes pro choice and new proposals give greater flexibility.

what choice does it give spouse could be male whos married to higher rate tax payer who stays at home they not conquered by universil credit/tax credit and some may have lost their child benefit too.
energy/petrol forever rising.

Im fed up feel under valued.
its quite fiddly to change amounts and provider as the voucher company need specific amounts an setting details.

hubby uses computer share and pays nursery electronically.
now we get grant price reduced but thourght keep it that way so in credit by sept to fund no3 child starting temporarily stop sept-feb and start up again. Now thinking should up it to max amount but as its electronic and eldest primary dont take it not how to save it up.

Glittertwins Tue 19-Mar-13 21:03:50

All reports have said voucher system will remain if you are already in there. It will be closed to new applicants in 2015

anastaisia Tue 19-Mar-13 21:11:37
Strix Tue 19-Mar-13 21:11:55

Currently DH gets nothing (self employed), and I got my entitlement reduced to £123 when I had to great luck to be made redundant, so when I got a new job I was a new entrant. All I actually save is my 40% tax. So, that's about £50 per month in the current voucher scheme. So the proposed scheme will double the "government" contribution. Although I hate refering to the funding as government money because actually they got it from me.

This is helpful, but it is not enough. I need to keep more of MY money.

And I'd like to see someone back up this ludicrous claim that childcare costs £6000 per year. I believe full time childcare is more like £20,000 per year (more in London).

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 19-Mar-13 21:13:54

Raising the personal allowance and scraping tax credits, child benefit and help with childcare would be far better but cant see it happening as too much has been invested in universal credit.

I think its right its open to all earners, we need tax payers to keep the system afloat. Those under £10k will still get help via tax credits if they work the required number of hours.

As for penalising SAHP's, its aimed at benefitting workers so how does it penalise somebody who has chosen not too? The state shouldnt pay people to stay home, its a luxury to choose not to work as you want to be home.

hettie Tue 19-Mar-13 21:21:17

It's a massive cut dressed up as a 'help' to working families.
For starters, it's cut all help for childcare for over 5's, so no help with breakfast clubs, after school or holiday clubs (essential for working parents). Plus if you both work, you can (currently) both claim through the voucher scheme and get tax relief, which if you were both basic rate tax payers is worth £930 each or £1860 for you both. If you have two children (under 5!) then you will be better off, but if you have one child under 5 then you will be worse off....
Not that I would ever vote for the twats anyway, but this really drives me mad....I hate the fact that they are trying to sell this as 'a good thing' I am not an idiot...please don't treat me as such

hettie Tue 19-Mar-13 21:25:39

I haven' thread the whole thread.... (kudos to those that have!). But if it's a first edition of wind in the willows it could be worth about £8k (has sone already pointed this out grin). And OP... yabu, and graceless to boot

Kopparbergkate Tue 19-Mar-13 21:25:45

and what about students? I guess it's also a luxury to want to go back to uni full-time to re- train in an area where there's a skill shortage in this country.

hettie Tue 19-Mar-13 21:26:09

oops wrong thread!

Whyriskit Tue 19-Mar-13 21:32:53

Just a quick question, DH thinks he saw this somewhere!
I only work 2 days (14 hours) and am out of the house from 7.30 - 6, so DS2 is in nursery and DS1 in breakfast and after school club. Also expecting DC3.
DH says we won't be eligible for the new scheme as I work too few hours. Is this right?

jellybeans Tue 19-Mar-13 21:36:24

This is quite good, not sure if has been posted yet


JoCheshire10 Tue 19-Mar-13 21:54:19

Whilst I accept its not for everyone it saddens me that parents no longer have the choice to stay at home with their children. Myself and dh are around average earners but we couldn't afford a house or bills unless we both work, I would much prefer to have the privilege of looking after my own child rather than paying for a stranger to do it-but the economy dictates I have no choice, the governments lack of support to stay at home parents is hopeless so looks like I'll need to work...

SmilingHappyBeaver Tue 19-Mar-13 21:58:58

How will they know whether both parents are working or not, under the new scheme, if each parent can apply to the new voucher scheme individually? And if they are going to runs checks, won't that be a hugely administrative and costly process... money that the government could have spent on, well, childcare support? confused

PS I used to work as a tax analyst, am educated to post-graduate level, but i am really struggling to understand the implications of these proposals. Didn't the Tories say that they wanted to simplify the benefits system shortly after they came into power? Yet they seem to be in the process of creating the most complex, unintelligible and grossly unfair system (ref child benefit changes) imaginable.

What is unfair is that parents on benefits get 15 hours of free care from 2 years old, but a family with a SAHP cannot use the vouchers to pay for their chidlren to have pre school eduation from 2

I am a single parent on benefits and I certainly don't get this. I get 2.5 hours a week free and that's five pounds for a playgroup space. I pay the rest to make up the short full.

Some Flying start areas seem to benefit from this but ad I'm not in a flying start area I don't get this free 15 hours a week. Dd is 3 in may and starts nursery in September. I am in Wales.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Mar-13 22:30:25

I think only some parents on benefit get 15 hours free and I think its because the kids would benefit from being away from a parent and sociable for a while.
I certainly wouldn't think this was unfair tbh. Because I believe in the children coming first irrespective of income.

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:10:03

How will they know whether both parents are working or not?

You will have to confirm on the (online) application form whether you live with someone or not and what their work status is, just as is the case for all means tested benefits.

... if each parent can apply to the new voucher scheme individually?

Exactly who can apply in the edge cases of separated parents each with PR who each pay for child care for the same child etc. are details yet to be sorted out.

And if they are going to runs checks, won't that be a hugely administrative and costly process... money that the government could have spent on, well, childcare support?

Yes, that's the problem with non-universal benefits. We are moving towards a situation where everyone has to complete a tax return/benefits application. How many of these are going to be checked is anyone's guess.

PS I used to work as a tax analyst, am educated to post-graduate level, but i am really struggling to understand the implications of these proposals. Didn't the Tories say that they wanted to simplify the benefits system shortly after they came into power? Yet they seem to be in the process of creating the most complex, unintelligible and grossly unfair system (ref child benefit changes) imaginable.

Yes. Unfortunately the current administration seems to have discovered that replacing universal benefits with means-tested ones has the dual benefits of achieving a saving in the benefit spend (at least on paper, until secondary effects are taken into account) and pandering to the politics of envy. I find it incredible that amongst all of the comments about this proposal (which is actually a really good deal for virtually every parent of a child under 5 initally, and under 12 "later" but has some worrying aspects which shoud concern everyone - like how much "later" is "later"), some of the first and loudest have been "bloody Tories giving benefits to families on £300k".

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:13:28

DH says we won't be eligible for the new scheme as I work too few hours. Is this right?

Nobody knows yet because this is "subject to consultation". There certainly will be some threshold: 16 hours per week is currently used for Tax Credits, but under Universal Credit this disappears because it is felt that a threshold is a bad idea!

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:18:49

and what about students? I guess it's also a luxury to want to go back to uni full-time to re- train in an area where there's a skill shortage in this country.

It has been announced that there should be an exception for non-working parents receiving Disability Living Allowance and that exceptions for other groups will be considered during consultation. Make of that what you will.

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:23:25

Anyone seen anything official saying that the voucher system will remain?

Yes it has been confirmed that people in the existing scheme can stay in, although individual employers may stop providing them at any time and as you won't be able to join an "old" scheme once the new system comes into place (including if you switch jobs) sooner or later the old schemes will die.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:27:41

I think I am being a bit dim here - but I actually think I might be able to claim something (shock horror!) having never done it before...can anyone advise?
I have a house (my mum's old house) that I own but rent out. I pay my tax as a self employed landlord but have previously been told that because I own the house I cannot claim any benefits.
Can I now? We live on £800 pm, so are hardly rolling in it and 2 half days at nursery cost £600 pm, so this could actually help me a bit.

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:28:21

Does anyone know if Dh could start claiming the vouchers at work in 2014 and save them up for 2015, just so that we can be in the system as it were so that when I find work we are not moved onto the new system and then not eligible as ds would be nearly 5?

Yes, although some schemes have time limits on how long you can save them up so do check that.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:29:13

Ah, am a single mum btw

jaywall Tue 19-Mar-13 23:29:14

payments of up to £1,200 per child, per year.

450,000 currently claim.
From Autumn 2015, 1.3m families, rising to about 2.5m

You’ll still be able to join the childcare vouchers scheme until Tax-Free Childcare is available. After that, it's likely existing members will be allowed to continue to use vouchers, or switch to the new scheme.


MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:31:09

I pay my tax as a self employed landlord but have previously been told that because I own the house I cannot claim any benefits.

Income from property is not self employment - you will need to satisfy the minimum requirement for working to get this benefit.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:31:28

Argh - and it's £300pm for 2 half days, sorry! I don't live in London

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:34:28

Oh, I thought I had filled out my tax form as self employed landlord...
So no. Thanks MrAnchovy Although there is no point in working as my wages would all go on childcare, may actually not cover it even with £1200 pa. Would rather be with my child.
<Shuffles off back to being bored by politics>

I have ranted about this all day. The whole system needs radical overhaul and I have ranted a bit more here

I was on our local radio station earlier talking about what a nonsense the entire thing is.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 19-Mar-13 23:40:41

A touch of

You used to be able to claim tax credit/WTC if you owned your own home. Your house if you rent it though is a business and if it were a home would be considered an assett. You would be expected to sell the home and have spent the money before you could claim benefit.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:44:40

Yes, you see I am trying to avoid being on benefits for the rest of my life by selling the only asset I have... ho hum!

MrAnchovy Tue 19-Mar-13 23:45:41

There is no minimum earnings of £10,000pa for this new scheme; this is a threshold that applies under Universal Credit. You will not qualify for the new scheme if you get Universal Credit but as the new scheme only pays 20% of childcare costs and UC pays 70% that should not be a problem.

ATouchOfStuffing Tue 19-Mar-13 23:53:53

I 'earn' under £8.5k pa - when you deduct all of the works done to the property every year, I then get taxed about £300 on top of that income and pay £200pm in council tax for my own property.
Never see any of the damn stuff come back though.
Mind you, my bins get emptied every other week as long as the lid isn't over 4 inches open, thus becoming a hazard to the bin men (huzzah!).

Sorry if this has been mentioned before, I've only skimmed the thread. But, won't this plan also push more people into loosing child benefit too as the vouchers are salary sacrifice and often take people just under the threshold? I have several friends this could affect in this way.

Also, on the point of SAHP, my DSis was made redundant whilst on maternity leave. There are no jobs in her field in her area. She can't move because of her DH's job and family commitments. DSis puts DNeice into nursery a couple of mornings per week so she can look for a new job and do a little voluntary work (BIG SOCIETY DAVE) in her sector. She can't do this with a baby / toddler in tow. So, not only have the fucking tories taken her job (she worked with adults with learning disabilites and her role was no longer funded due to cuts) they are also taking her voluntary role.

MrAnchovy Wed 20-Mar-13 09:38:47

But, won't this plan also push more people into loosing child benefit too as the vouchers are salary sacrifice and often take people just under the threshold?

Only if they decide to switch to the new scheme (or their employer decides to stop providing "old style" vouchers).

mam29 Wed 20-Mar-13 10:21:47

Ohh i never considered threshold an reckon some could be stung as vouchers tax pretax brings salary down but new scheme doesnt.

You would have to be fairly low income to get universil credit surly?

when they took away our tax credits last year think it was

25k with 1 child, up to32k for 3kids pus so assumed anyone over 32k wont get tax credits.

Also wonder how it will effect home educators as contmeplated home ed last year for eldest and having younger one in nursery to facilitate that they saving state money but get no financial support to home educate yet in the states its tax deductble.

Also its not so easy to move to find work with kids in tow.
I wish we had faily support but theres no jobs in mums hometown, crap schools and high house prices.

I dont really like being a sahm would rather be working just not viable so liz truss saying we have choice is i go out and get part time min wage job makes no diffrence as be earning under 10k.

well least its propsal and hopefully we can make them see error of ways,

Bramshott Wed 20-Mar-13 10:49:07

Bugger. Does anyone know when it's coming in? And what's happening to money held in the voucher scheme accounts right now? We get vouchers now via DH's work (I can't believe the stats that only 5% of employers offer them shock) to pay for after school and holiday care. So obviously that's going to go completely sad...

Bramshott not until 2015 after the next election.

Bramshott Wed 20-Mar-13 11:05:06

Oh phew! Thanks gregs.

I'm interested to know what they are basing '5% of employers' and what percentage of the workforce they employ.

Is the NHS counted as 1 employer, alongside the local shoe shop.

Also many companies just do a salary sacrifice thing which goes directly to childcare provider, or in house nursery.

That 5% doesn't ring true to me.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Mar-13 12:08:24

Hello. We're going to move this thread to our Family Friendly topic now smile

nappyaddict Wed 20-Mar-13 12:31:35

Can someone clarify if this is how childcare vouchers work?

You get up to £243 of your wages paid as childcare vouchers and you don't pay tax on that £243. So if you are a higher tax payer you save £121.50 that would have otherwise been taken off you as tax? If both parents get vouchers and are on higher tax bracket then that's £243 saved.

On the new scheme the maximum you can get is £115 a week? But that is per child? So if you have 3 children in childcare you'll be better off?

lljkk Wed 20-Mar-13 12:32:04

Quick stats which may be correct... 47.5% of UK workforce are in small to medium size companies; 58% of the private sector employees in small to medium enterprises. These are the ones least likely to offer vouchers.

This says that 450,000 families are using them, which means... (back of envelope calculations) I don't think more than 7% of families in work and with under 12s could be using them. So yeah, pretty restricted option & take-up.

DH's boss said that it would be too expensive for him to offer (small company, there are costs involved, I guess). My employer (large university) offered to pay nursery fees before tax Only IF your child attended the onsite nursery: very over-subscribed nursery with long waiting lists, obviously no help with school age children. My old employer probably counts in the official stats, too, as one of the employers who offered vouchers or equivalent. But not helpful to many.

Is the new childcare scheme going to be considered a "public funds" benefit, a la tax credits and child benefit? I ask because as a non-EU immigrant on a temporary visa, I'm not allowed to claim public funds/benefits. My British husband is also not allowed to claim public funds, as far as we are aware, because we need to prove to the Home Office for the duration of my spouse visa that he is capable of supporting me sans state assistance in the event that I lose my job.

This is not an issue just now because the current childcare vouchers are seen as an employer-provided benefit. It's actually not an issue post-2014 either, in my case, because I should have a green card by then, but I wonder how many other families might be affected by this? My CCVs give us less than £50 a month extra, but it helps nonetheless.

Bramshott Wed 20-Mar-13 12:37:16

When DH worked for a small company they just paid the nursery £243 a month direct so I'm guessing they (and hundreds like them doing the same thing) don't count in the stats?

ceebeegeebies Wed 20-Mar-13 12:37:23

Not sure if it has been mentioned on the thread as I haven't got time to read it all (I am at work) but we have had some formal confirmation of the plans.

It will be implemented from Autumn 2015, however parents in existing childcare vouchers can remain in them for a further 5 years (so until Autumn 2020). It also said that it will initially be just for children under 5 but will be rolled out to under 12's at a later date hmm

Without doing the maths, I am sure this is not a good thing but I have worked out that my 2 will both be at secondary school by Autumn 2020 so it is irrelevant for me but I really do feel the government would not be doing this if it wasn't cheaper than the vouchers.

Also, not keen on the 'pay now, claim back' aspect of it as a lot of families genuinely cannot afford to pay out £££'s even on the basis they can claim it back.

working9while5 Wed 20-Mar-13 12:51:05


I work a measly .44 of a job thanks to cuts and have to spread this over three days as a condition of the job. I am already at the point where working is hardly worthwhile. I was considering retraining for this reason. I am a professional with an MSc and skills... but working doesn't pay and due to commuting I need to shell out for nearly 33 hours of childcare weekly though my actual hours worked vary from 18 to 24 (we can't manage to find more flexible childcare in our area).

I really do believe this government wants all women who are not self employed to stay home.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 12:53:34

Nappy - you also save the NI. So if you are higher rate taxpayer then tax would be 40% and NI 2% so saving £102 p.m per parent. If at top rate then saving is 52%. Employer saves 13.8% NI as well so this will hit businesses as well as individuals.

On the new scheme the maximum saving is £100 per month per child.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 12:54:50

Oh and if you joined the scheme after April 2011 as a higher rate taxpayer you can only get a reduced figure not the full £243, so that the amount of tax you save equates to basic rate.

nappyaddict Wed 20-Mar-13 12:57:23

We won't be able to use the new scheme as I work part-time at NMW and earn less than 10k a year, so bad for us.

IfNotNowThenWhen Wed 20-Mar-13 17:42:24

This is all very confusing, and I don't quite understand how the Tories are screwing us all over yet (as I am sure they are) BUT, just sayin,many of you have asked how one half of a couple who is studying will cope r.e the changes, and I just wanted to say that, afaik, students have never been entitled to state funded childcare!
You may get a discretionary bursary from somewhere, but after I had ds I was a student, and I got nada towards childcare from the government. (pre-Condems).

I am not sure that sahp's should be entitled to childcare help either tbh. If you are out of work, but have a partner who works, then between the two of you, you should be able to manage without childcare.
All of these things should be treated as Household benefits:
CB should be available to Households earning under x amount,and so should childcare help.
I hate it when any government tries to get into our pants and reward marriage/penalise singleness/dictate who works and who doesn't.

Oblomov Wed 20-Mar-13 18:08:38

Every time I think I can't be shocked any more, something like this comes, and literaly astounds me.
4 months of negotaitions, you say? And these people making these decisions must be on a different planet. Because the childcare cost sof £6k are just presposterous.
I only ever worked p/t since having both ds's but my nursery fees were more than that. I know becasue I had £243 of vouchers going out of my salary every month.

I shudder. Honestly.

LexyMa Wed 20-Mar-13 19:01:51

I get £243 in vouchers from my public sector employer and will continue to do so as I move internally to a better post with pay in the 40% area (but less than the CB tapering band). DH is private sector and currently getting £120-ish in vouchers off higher rate taxed income but is about to be made redundant and will potentially go self-employed/freelance so would certainly look at the new scheme when it comes in.

So, I will be looking carefully when the detail emerges to see whether one parent can be claiming pre-2011 voucher rates (for DC1, nominally) and the other be getting up to £1200 in tax rebate for childcare (for DC2, who hasn't arrived yet but will be starting childcare in about march 14).

Birthdaychocolate Wed 20-Mar-13 19:29:17

Hey, MNHQ, Why can't political stuff stay in chat/AIBU where there us traffic?

ifnotnow no you are right, there has never been state funded childcare for students.

However, if you have a partner in employment they can currently claim £243 of childcare vouchers tax free which you may use while you're studying.

Under new rules, because you are not BOTH in work, you get nothing.

You also lose help for school aged children, at least initially.

Most parents will be worse off than now.

It feels like a con which doesn't solve very much at all.


Joanna45 Wed 20-Mar-13 20:33:49

This policy means that we are subsidizing working parents who as a couple can earn together £150K or more a year. I'm happy for my taxes to help out low paid couples but not couples that choose to both work and earn over £60K. Many middle-income parents lost their child benefit recently and it now appears that this money is going to be redistributed to help some very well-off working couples. This seems totally unfair.

I also worry that the Government is discouraging a parent that choose to stay at home and look after their own children. Why aren't these parents helped in difficult times too?

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 20:36:09

Joanna, I agree. They should use £60k as the threshold. Anyone earning over that can afford to pay childcare without help.

Strix Wed 20-Mar-13 20:54:35

Joanna, who is "we"? The only people subsidising anything are those who are working.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 20-Mar-13 20:56:26

ceeveebee and Joanna45

It is a typical Tory Government, I keep saying this to anyone who will listen.
Their Key responsibilities are making the rich richer and the poor poorer.
A lot of low income families will be financially better off with a sahp as they won't be able to afford childcare. We are going back to what it was like 20+ years ago.

badguider Wed 20-Mar-13 21:01:20

Nobody is subsidising anybody. The government is allowing those who pay for childcare to pay slightly less tax on it.
Those who don't pay for childcare are not paying any tax on it anyway (obviously).

p.s. I do not support the tories in any way, but i do support a move away from vouchers that only some employers support towards tax breaks for childcare.... it's not about 'subsidising' the cost of childcare at the provision end (staff in nurseries need to be paid a living wage and imo ratios should not increase) it's about the govt. taking a slightly smaller slice in the form of tax on childcare to make it more affordable.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 21:05:52

Badguider - where do you think the money comes from to give the tax break? From taxpayers of course.
Fwiw DH and I work and pay an eyewatering amount of tax between us, and childcare costs of over £20k but I do not think people like us should get help with our childcare because we simply do not need it. It should be targeted to those who do need it and who could not afford to work without it.

badguider Wed 20-Mar-13 21:18:04

Well if the average childcare bill really is £6k and vat is 20% then the average person is paying £1200 vat then it only takes 1/5th of a person more to be able to afford average chilcare to pay for each person's tax break.

But apparently lots of people pay more than £6k in childcare and will only get £1200 so they'll still be paying some tax so actually it's far less than an extra 1/5th of a person required for each person.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 21:48:09

Not sure what VAT has to do with anything? confused

Anomaly Wed 20-Mar-13 21:50:03

My maths might be wrong but the £1200 figure is only if you have a £6000 childcare bill for that child. So for two children and two parents claiming vouchers you have to have an annual childcare bill in excess of £9300 for the new system to be better than vouchers.

Most people I know do everything they can to minimise childcare. So parents work weekends, one works early while the other works late. Grandparents do a day a week etc. The vast majority will be spending less than £9300 annually on childcare so under this system they will lose out.

While I appreciate that not everyone can claim vouchers but why couldn't the system that replaces them at least be as good as vouchers?

badguider Wed 20-Mar-13 21:56:38

ceevee ignore me. I didn't know childcare was vat excempt.
anomaly I know nothing about vouchers as I am f/t self employed and dh's employer chooses not to offer them. angry This is why I am glad of the changes on a personal level.

fraktion Wed 20-Mar-13 22:06:56

I think this might help a lot of WAHMs with micro-businesses and encourage people who sell on eBay etc to declare it as SE earnings. That would massage the figures for unemployment nicely too <cynic>

Anomaly Wed 20-Mar-13 22:13:29

badguider I can understand that for some families this is good news.

I am concerned that reading this thread a lot of people are expecting £1200 per child. It's a nice headline figure. But the reality is that to get that for one child you need to be paying £6k annually. To get £2400 you need to have two children costing you £12k and for three its £18k. The families I know just don't have those sorts of childcare costs. That's not to say their costs aren't significant.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 22:22:45

If you have two preschoolers in FT care I can't see how it could cost less than £12k - round here it costs more than that for 1 child in FT care.

Anomaly - where on earth do you live that childcare costs were so low? We were paying £12k for full time nursery.

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 20-Mar-13 22:40:44

Not sure where Anamoly lives either. It's over £12k for my DD alone. It's £45 a day FYI Anamoly.

ceeveebee Wed 20-Mar-13 22:52:14

£70-£85 per day per child round here!! Hence one of the reasons we have a nanny!

Anomaly Wed 20-Mar-13 23:15:46

I'm not for one minute saying that childcare costs aren't high. I think £45 a day sounds about right for where I live. What I'm saying is that a lot of people I know don't end up paying that because they simply can't afford to. What they end up doing is sorting their hours so they minimise the amount of time they have to pay for childcare. So I know a couple of families where Mum is a nurse and they always work either weekends or night shift to help do that. Other families have parents working condensed hours so pay for three days of childcare rather than five. I've friends who use a mixture of grandparents and nursery.

This new measure is good for those who don't currently get childcare vouchers and meet the criteria. It's good if you have childcare costs in excess of £9300 and more than one child.

But there are plenty of people who have significant childcare costs for whom this measure is not as good as vouchers and I don't see why the government couldn't have introduced something as good as vouchers for everyone. On paper it looks generous but in actual fact it isn't.

I think that the vouchers are unpopular with business because you have to pay them at cost while women are on maternity leave. I also think vouchers are unpopular with the government because you can use them to reduce your taxable pay. So they've given a bit but then taken more.

ATouchOfStuffing Wed 20-Mar-13 23:34:56

It's £77 per day at DD's nursery here in Kent!

duchesse Wed 20-Mar-13 23:40:02

That is absolutely crazy, stuffing! It's twice the price of down here (Devon)- £38/day for 3.6 yo DD. Was £40 when she was in the baby room. Everything's included- nappies and food.

duchesse Wed 20-Mar-13 23:41:29

Oh and there's a discount if they go full-time, equivalent to a day's fees off a week.

ATouchOfStuffing Wed 20-Mar-13 23:46:11

Nappies INCLUDED? shock
It's not the cheapest in town, but not the most expensive either, middle to top I guess. Cheapest was £55 per day but only had a garden for the 2yo+. All of them need you to supply nappies/wipes and change of clothes though!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 00:12:26

OMG I have just realised that there are people paying in childcare more than our family income per annum. Bloody hell there are some rich people wanting help to work ffs.

duchesse Thu 21-Mar-13 02:30:12

Have you considered, morethan that these may be families working at or near a loss for those nursery years, so that their skills don't go to waste? Just because a family "can afford" nursery fees don't mean they're rolling in it. Some people also like to save up in advance of having children as they realise how expensive the whole business is. Just sayin'

I agree with Duchesse. Morethan - when I went back to work after dd3 was born it was only the savings that the vouchers made for us that meant I wasn't worse off for working. For many families they are paying the same or more in childcare than they do in rent or mortgage and that's why they'd like some help. Not because they're too 'rich' to notice it.

homemadepesto Thu 21-Mar-13 09:28:10

Two things bother me 1 - when it will start i.e. after the next election and 2 - the 300k figure which does not strike me as being "for simplicity" sake as the child minister said.

Xenia Thu 21-Mar-13 09:54:09

Yes, it's big divide between Se and elsewhere but it isn't really so that if you're in the SE spending 100% of your net income on childcare (as one of us did) you are rolling in it. Instead you are paying more for most things. Someone today said I must have added a nought to the stamp duty bill for my daughter's one bed flat she just bought (£10k stamp duty, tiny one bed home in London). We pay a high price in London to subsidise the regions and we tend to pay about £25k to £30k for two nursery places or a daily nanny cost. Working two full time jobs does not leave many open to sharing childcare with their spouse. Ify ou are both working all day Monday to Friday and probably if you are in a first job in London a good few evenings you cannot just rely on only working nights or weekends.

Anyway my school fees bill now is about the same as the full time nanny was and will probably be the same as the university costs in due course so it ends up feeling relatively painless as you move from fulltime nanny, to full time school to funding them at university. Long term it virtually always pays off for women to develop good careers over several decades even if the early years are a financial struggle with childcare costs.

£1200 per child under 5 is better than nothing although I prefer no tax breaks or complications and just very low taxes and simplicity.

AmberSocks Thu 21-Mar-13 09:56:54

why are people acting like its bad for people where only one parent works to not get moey towards childcare?why would they need it?do people really expect to be paid for staying and looking after their ow kids at home?

duchesse Thu 21-Mar-13 10:05:16

Single parents? Just one example. And truly how many people with a stay at home parent also make extensive use of childcare?

AmberSocks Thu 21-Mar-13 10:07:04

single parents will get it though if they work,why would someone who is a sahm need to use childcare?

Amber socks, no people don't expect that.

However, many (usually women but not always) take career breaks or make changes when they have children.

Many of them retrain or do volunteer work to get the extra skills and experiences necessary to re-enter the workforce.

At the moment, their partner can claim £243 tax vouchers a month.

Under new system, they will not. This, plus fees etc means education will be out of reach for lots of people.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 10:25:16

I just hadn't realised that childcare was so expensive as I have only ever 1 x 15 hours for pre school. It completely took me by surprise that you would have to be quite rich to be able to afford it full time and that some pay for several. Surely for some who don't make a profit it becomes a lifestyle choice rather than necessity. Like some people who choose to be a sahp.
20+ years ago childcare was scarce and unaffordable for most, so the choice to work wasn't there. I am pleased that childcare is subsidised but think its fair to have cuts when everything else is being cut. It is a shame that some people will be forced into the same situation as we were 20 years ago.

AmberSocks Thu 21-Mar-13 10:43:43

i didnt know your partner can claim vouchers for childcare if you dont work,never heard of anyone doing that.

morethanpotatoprints - many women (and occasionally men) take the option to work for a loss or just a few pounds a month (like myself) to cover childhood because a) a career break will ruin your career b) a career break will decrease your future earning potential or even c) those few pounds a month you do manage to take home make all the difference to whether you can actually pay the bills or not. Hardly "rich".

I also needed to take an 18 month career break because we couldn't afford childcare for two.

It should never be the case that people can't afford to work, it's madness!

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Mar-13 11:04:53

morethan in many professional jobs, you have to stay in the field. If you quit for a few years, there isn't much of a chance getting back in. It is not as simple as a lifestyle choice. Obviously if you want to stay at home forever then it's ok. Otherwise, it's taking the hit for the preschool years for the future. And we need my money because 1) I earn half the household income 2) we need to move into catchment for secondary. If I give up now, it means not doing the best I could for DD schooling too.

And not everyone wants to do further education and then go back. I have a PhD already so frankly don't see what the OU can offer me. A practical qualification that another field, maybe.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 11:14:31

I am sorry but if it is not necessary i.e you are not financially better off, no you shouldn't have subsidised childcare when a sahp seeking work won't be entitled.
Working for nothing is not necessary and hence a lifestyle choice.

OneLittleToddle. It is not you taking the hit for childcare though it is other tax payers. Some who don't have children. I think it is very selfish and entitled to expect this subsidy when the really poor are feeling cuts to benefits.
Fair enough if you have to work to pays bills and buy necessities then you should receive help, but just to keep a career going beggars belief I'm afraid.

duchesse Thu 21-Mar-13 11:25:29

Morethan, did you actually read any of those posts?

duchesse Thu 21-Mar-13 11:27:54

If you're a doctor or a nurse and you take more than a few months out (can't remember how many) you have to take a whole year re-training before you're allowed to work again. Are you saying that doctors and nurses who've had babies shouldn't go back to work?

What annoys me about this whole issue is that I think we are fundamentally talking about the wrong things. The problems with recessions is that everyone gets pitted against eachother. Old vs young, SAHM, vs WOHM. It's like squabbling over a loaf of bread thrown into the village square.

The fact that people say that we shouldn't help families because they are paying so much in childcare, they may as well not bother working, is such skewed thinking.

We have a situation where we spend hundred of thousands of pounds educating women (and men), train them in jobs and professions, invest in them. Then, as soon as they have children we say they must part with over half their salary if they want to keep their job, or not bother. So we throw billions of pounds worth of investment down the drain.

What would help the situation would never actually happen as there are far too many vested interests at stake.

We would all be better off if house prices were lower. All rising prices do is take money from the young to give to the old in the form of equity, and banks in the form of interest rates. Houses are no more valuable that they were 50 years ago, just more expensive.

A positive encouragement for flexible working to be considered for men and women would mean couples would have a genuine choice about how to organise their family, rather than women bearing the majority of the burden.

And lower childcare costs.

And do you know what .... yes, those people who don't have children to subsidise those who do.

Because it's my children who are going to be their doctors, nurses and teachers. It's my children who are going to be paying taxes to fund their pensions and NHS.

This whole 'everybody for themselves' doesn't work. Never has, never will.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 11:36:42


I read all the posts. I don't see your point?

Of course I'm not saying anybody shouldn't go back to work, there should be choice. However, if there is any subsidised childcare it should be fair and not used to support a lifestyle choice for one set of parents and not another.

Do you not think that a sahp seeking work should be entitled to subsidised childcare? A student who also is investing in their future career? Because these will not be entitled to support.

ROFL that working is a "lifestyle choice".

1) When you work, you pay tax, often more than any childcare subsidy you might receive so the government is still "making a profit" off you. So not the same as a SAHP paying no tax.

2) If you take a break from your career for the entire time you have children, you will re-enter the market at a much lower grade and thus be earning less and paying way less tax over your lifetime.

You do realise, morethanpotatoprints, that people in work are paying the taxes that run this country. Because it sure doesn't seem to be businesses who are paying. So even if I personally were making a loss from working, the government would still be making money from me. Grossly unfair, but it hardly means would be any kind of drain on society.

I also want to add to my point above: "c) those few pounds a month you do manage to take home make all the difference to whether you can actually pay the bills or not."

This highlights why cutting childcare subsidies is a really bad idea, because if one partner is only making a £100 profit, but that means the family can pay rent, and then childcare subsidies are cut by £200, that family will a) lose their home and b) one partner will have to give up work as they are now losing £100 a month instead by both parents working.

We have the highest childcare costs in Europe - other countries realised long ago that to keep your workforce able to work and contributing to the economy, you need to give them affordable childcare.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Mar-13 11:48:44

I pay more in taxes than anything I get back in childcare vouchers or cb. We are hardly rich. I'm a lower tax payer but receiving no working tax credit. I'm sure I'm in the squeezed middle.

duchesse Thu 21-Mar-13 12:05:16

We definitely pay more in taxes than we take out in benefits. But we have free healthcare, clean water, roads that work, a pretty decent education system, etc etc... and there are not many people dying of hunger in the streets (although I think we could see that more and more sad). I can live with paying more in tax than we get back in benefits- that's the way it should be!

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 21-Mar-13 12:17:55

The town I live has the largest numbers of homeless in Kent. People literally freeze to death in the winter. My job in London would bring in around 35k-40k but here the max I can get is £16/17k. Yes house prices are a lot lower, but we pay very similar fees for everything else - £200pm on council tax (with 15% discount for single occupancy). To get to London before 10am (rtn travel card) is £65. As a single parent, commuting 1.5hrs each way and paying that amount in travel alone is impossible. My nursery, as I said before, is £77 per day and is only open until 8pm. I would need to finish work at 6pm on the dot to make sure I was back to collect her, and let's face it, there is a lot of pressure to stay longer and usually a few days a year where it is really needed. I just can't see how I can make it work without perhaps retraining, which again I now can't afford to do due to nursery costs.

Can I ask what you're going to do about school?

Things get far more difficult when school finishes at 3:15.

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 21-Mar-13 12:27:10

My point is that I can't afford to work. So I am a stay at home mum. I can just afford to put DD into nursery for 3 hours twice a week, so I get a small break and can do housework <eyes the hoover and feels guilty> but other than that she is with me 24/7. When she goes to school I may actually be able to take a part time job!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 12:28:22

I understand what people are saying about paying more tax than the subsidy in childcare they receive. My point was fairness and the ability of a sahp to be given subsidy when seeking work. Students to be given subsidy because they too will be tax payers. I also think the reduction in subsidy is fair when everything else is being cut and there are so many people without basic needs being met. Its only my opinion but expecting subsidy to fund a lifestyle choice that a person has made with one of the reasons affording to move to a better catchment area for schools, doesn't seem right to me.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 21-Mar-13 12:33:22


You don't have to be employed for your dc to be doctors, nurses teachers etc. I don't see how that is relevant. I'm not using childcare so costing nothing, my ds 21 is still employed grin

Xenia Thu 21-Mar-13 13:55:43

May be removal of employers NI on nannies too worth £2k a year which will help working parents too. on a £25k nanny gross wage the parent has to pay in addition 13% employer NI £3250 so this will help if it applies to all small employers.

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 14:06:44

I read that the £2000 employer NI cut can only be used by businesses, charities and community employers eg sports clubs, not employers of domestic staff.

Xenia Thu 21-Mar-13 14:09:28

I suspect the rules have not been fully written yet. The long HMRC doc I read said businesses and charities and apparently possibly some new information today suggests all employers. It is certainly worth looing at as employer NI for hard working parents who may be spending 50% of husband'#s and 50%$ of wife's salary on a full time nanny for 3 children under 5 who costs them £25k out of their already taxed salaries as it is also have to pay 13% employer NI.

lozster Thu 21-Mar-13 14:16:31

I find the responses on here (and on the Daily Wail!) to be utterly bizarre. This is not a benefit (as in hand out), it is a tax break on what is essentially an expense that is incurred through work and given against money that has already been paid in. Some other expenses incurred through the course of work are also tax deductable. My membership of my professional body, the British Psychological Society is. Does this discriminate against non-psychologists? My partners purchase of equipment for his business is too. Does the tax break on his design software discriminate against non-designers?

The previous voucher scheme was fit for purpose for those lucky individuals who could access it. It wasn't fit for purpose for all families though as the majority, as I understand it, couldn't access it anyway. The fact the new scheme is available for those on a high income is a red herring here.

lozster Thu 21-Mar-13 14:20:41

more than - this is no more 'a subsidy' than any tax break on expense incurred in the course of work is! It's not about giving extra money, it's about taking a bit less away.

Still laughing at the idea that actually having a job (you know, that normal thing that people do to earn money and keep the economy going) is a lifestyle choice.

morethanpotatoprints - I'm a full-time student so I need full-time childcare. I don't get (nor will I get) any kind of subsidy because I don't pay tax. I think this is perfectly fair - I still get to benefit from the NHS, roads etc etc.

I don't entirely understand why you think someone looking for work should have their childcare covered.

This is a tax break, you know, paying a bit less tax on an expense incurred because of your job.

Why are you struggling so much with the concept?

If SAHP were paid for childcare (and they already get the 15 free nursery hours), it would be a nett loss to the government.

If students were paid, it would also be a loss to the government.

When working people get this tax break, the government still makes money. Often more than that person actually working.

If I had a job and had to quit because I couldn't afford childcare, the government would get less money off me, so that means less money to then pass on to the poor/disabled/vulnerable etc etc.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Mar-13 14:42:08

morethan for what is worth, we have budgeted childcare cost in our savings. We should be able to keeping DD's place at nursery for 6 months while seeking work. Even under the current system, you lose your childcare vouchers if you lose your job. It's done via salary sacrifice.

Yes you lose your vouchers if you lose your job. However under the new system, if you are both working you will BOTH lose your vouchers if ONE of you loses your job.

So not only do you lose one wage, you also lose tax relief on the other income.

Utter madness.

ReallyTired Thu 21-Mar-13 15:04:10

" Even under the current system, you lose your childcare vouchers if you lose your job. It's done via salary sacrifice. "

Yes, one parent loses their childcare vouchers because they have no salary to sacrifice. Under the old system the working parent could still claim childcare vouchers while the non working parent looked for work. The benefit to the economy is that the non working parent gets back into work faster.

Under the new system the family loses ALL help. I think if someone had to look after children and look for a full time job they would slip into being a long term SAHP. Most families can only afford nursery for a very short time while a parent is unemployed even with vouchers.

I think the number of SAHM parents will increase with this new policy. Whether this a good or a bad thing depends on your outlook on life.

ReallyTired - whether it's good or bad depends only and entirely on the person forced out of work. For some it may be a blessing, for me it would be a living nightmare.

The Tories want women back at home so that all the jobs can go back to the men, who are of course the only people who really need or deserve jobs. hmm

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 16:06:58

Eh? Don't understand that point Annie. If the tax break is only available to families where both parents work (or for single parents, the single parent works), how does that encourage women to be SAHM?

Because lower earners (usually women) will be forced out of work when their childcare costs go up. Simple as that. So many families are already on that very fine line between a tiny profit and a loss in terms of the lower earner's wage vs childcare costs. If they can't afford to tip from the profit to the loss side, then the lower earner will have to stay home.

The thing that angers me most about the new plan is that it is initially restricted to under 5s. The emphasis is always on nursery fees but this is not the only childcare cost.

I went part time (3 days a week) after DS1 then went freelance after DS2, fitting in work as and when I could and spending as much time at home as possible. This often meant working evenings etc but that was my choice as I wanted to be with them.

He goes to school in September and I am planning to go back to work (or at least work more) now that there are no children at home during the day.

Under existing system I would be able to get childcare vouchers until they're 15. Now, in 2015 I will lose all of my childcare vouchers because the cutoff will suddenly be 5.

I realise that expenses will be lower but after school & holiday clubs still add up to a hefty bill. This will encourage women into school hour, term time only jobs which, at the moment (although wrongly) tend to be lower skilled and lower paid.

I agree, it suits the government to encourage women to stay at home to make the employment figures look better whilst all the time waving their 'strivers' banner.

This policy doesn't help strivers at all.

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 16:46:30

newpencilcase, I thought the existing voucher scheme would continue for those already in it?

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 17:01:40

Annie, won't most families be better off with this scheme - accept that families with one child won't be but lone parents, and two-parent families with two or more children will be? Except where both parents are HR taxpayers in which case income > £90k combined in any case so hardly low earners.

ceeveebee - not as I understand it, if that family is already claiming two sets of vouchers and has children over 5. We will lose £900 a year if DH changes jobs and has to stop claiming vouchers. That's £900 we can ill afford. I'm a student, so we need full-time childcare, but only DH can claim for now. Under the new scheme, neither of us will get a bean.

If they extend the scheme to over-5s, and if they still give one parent the tax-break if the other is a student, maybe then it would be more fair.

Yes but I think just from an admin point of view. It's not clear.

Also doesn't help those parents returning to work or finding more employment once children start school.

And obviously if you change jobs you will lose it.

But only 2 children under 5 ceevee.

In my case, I would have been better off for 18 months but worse off for the 3 years either side. hmm

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 17:53:17

You all do realise that by mentioning that you get £243/month you lot are advertising that you are upper tax bracket?

I don't want to engage in politics of envy... but I'm surprised no one else has pointed that out. Could be an argument to say that those receiving £243/month are the ones who least need £243/month subsidy on childcare.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Mar-13 17:54:19

£243 a month is the lower tax bracket.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 21-Mar-13 17:57:42

Or I should clarify it is the lower if you join the scheme after April 2011. The 40% limit is now £142 I think. Prior to April 2011 every one gets £243 so the higher rate tax payer gets more tax relief from it.

Sissa Thu 21-Mar-13 18:01:05

A clear message to full-time mothers and volunteers

It appears that the new childcare package, marketed as a helping hand to working parents, simply takes money from single income families and gives it to dual income ones.

The government seems set out to penalise the following:

1.Women who had to give up they careers because, until now, their job paid less than the cost of childcare.(Their partner could claim child care vouchers until now. The new move takes this opportunity away)
2.Stay at home mothers who sacrificed the benefits of a dual income, because the alternative was to outsource their children completely.
3.Workers whose partners have chosen to nurture the government's beloved Big Society by volunteering and effectively working for free, (or who simply cannot find another job after maternity)

If I understand correctly, a dual income household earning just under 300 000k can claim back tax on their childcare, but a single income household on 60 k, where one partner is a volunteer or full time parent, cannot.
Complete disdain toward full-time parents

The governments in most developed countries acknowledge, through tax rebates, the financial sacrifice made by single income families. Presumably they do so because they believe that a “stay at home mother” is actually performing a worthy service. Does it really make no difference whether a child spends all their time with a salaried third party rather than their parent?
When the coalition took child benefit away, it expressed a complete disregard for the choices made by single -earner families. With yesterday’s budget, they are punishing them further by taking away their opportunity to use childcare vouchers.

They have converted indifference toward full time mothers into obvious disdain.

Cynicism or incompetence?

The government statisticians must have calculated that single income families are not a significant tranche of the electorate. Alternatively, its hypocrisy in praising family values and touting a "Big Society" is now overshadowed by blazing incompetence.

Lljjk, I am not in the upper tax bracket.

£243 tax free is standard amount.

What newpencilcase said.

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 18:45:47

Aw nuts, I stand corrected, especially if rules have changed (how confusing!). Should have double checked sources.

ceeveebee Thu 21-Mar-13 19:02:19

No one actually knows for a fact how the transition to the new scheme will work. Lots of assumptions being made about whether parents will still be able to stay on voucher scheme for age 5-12 or if moving jobs or whether students will be included . None of this detail has actually been announced yet as there is a consultation process that hasn't started yet.

We need to get MNHQ to take part in the consultation process

MrAnchovy Thu 21-Mar-13 19:42:07

Actually there has been some detail of the plans published including this FAQ which confirms that "We will close ESC [Childcare Vouchers] to new entrants only from autumn 2015. This means that anyone who is in a scheme before then can choose to remain in it, or switch to the new scheme if they are eligible;"

Also "Q. If I move jobs will I be able to claim ESC in my new job if they have a scheme? A. No. If parents leave a scheme, they will not be able to join another, but may be eligible for the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme."

However for stud