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Anyone know if you can get help from Tax Credits for occassional childcare?

(7 Posts)
Memeep Fri 01-Jul-11 22:57:38

My DH and I each work 20+ hours per week, and I know we are eligible for help towards childcare costs if we went down the route of placing the kids in regular registered childcare. Up until now we have managed to work opposite days and use family and friends to avoid leaving the kids, but there have been a couple of times recently when we have had to leave them with a local registered childminder at a cost of £75 per day.

What I would like to know is can i claim something back for this when it is not a regular thing and may only happen 2 or 3 days in a month?.. £75 is about what my partner and I earn combined in a day, so are essentially working for nothing which is very annoying... Any thoughts gratefully received as I can't find anything specific on HMRC.. Thanks

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 02-Jul-11 07:51:25

You'd have to declare for Tax Credit purposes an average spend on childcare (say £160/month) and be prepared to back it up with receipts when asked to do so. If you put the numbers into this Benefits Checker you can judge if it would materially affect your award.

Poshbaggirl Sat 02-Jul-11 08:02:04

Yes. Claim childcare costs. Put down for one day a week or something, or whatever you are likely to use. You can chop and change your arrangements like 2 days here and miss a week there. Just as long as the childminders records and invoices to you for the care stack up over the year. As they obviously do check. If you are going to use childcare 2 or 3 times a month at say 7 hours a day, times that by 12, divide by 52 and that will give you an adverage weekly amount which is what is asked for on the form.

Purplegirlie Sat 02-Jul-11 12:56:11

£75 per day for a childminder seems really expensive, are you in London?

Memeep Sun 03-Jul-11 22:44:12

Thanks for all the advice, I am not in London but it is for 3 kids on a sliding scale of £30 first child, £25 second £20 third for 8 hours. I am just a little worried about setting up something permanent with the childminder/tax credits as the childminder has hinted that she would need some sort of retainer for when I am not using her - and it started to sound a little messy, but i clearly need to do something ...

Poshbaggirl Sun 03-Jul-11 23:10:22

Talk to tax credits helpline! They are very helpful. Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 04-Jul-11 00:21:01

You don't have to set up anything permanent with the childminder if you don't want to. But if your average is £150-£200/month and you declare that for Tax Credits now, come April/May next year you can add up everything you have actually spent on childcare in 2011/12 and that becomes your new declaration... tax credits are based on the previous year's income/expenditures. Provided your estimate isn't too far from the actual it shouldn't be a problem.

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