Is anyone using tax free child care account??

(18 Posts)
DogMumOfOne Tue 09-Jul-19 18:21:00

Is anyone using this account to pay their childs private nursery fees? When I say nursery I mean daycare? My baby will be starting nursery at 1 year old (October 19) and I'm wondering when I should start paying into the account?

OP’s posts: |
Lazypuppy Tue 09-Jul-19 19:21:17

Check eligibility. You have to be earning a certain amount per week, think you can only start in final 2 weeks of mat leave i believe

PotteringAlong Tue 09-Jul-19 19:22:08

Yes. I use it for all 3 of mine. It’s great.

HerSymphonyAndSong Tue 09-Jul-19 19:24:41

Yes - I don’t pay anything into it until I receive an invoice from nursery. Then I pay in 80% and they top up overnight and I pay nursery from the account. I don’t think you can set up the account until you are within ?30 days of stopping mat leave

m0jit0 Tue 09-Jul-19 19:28:28

I have a standing order from our bank to the tax free child care account and monthly payment to the nursery a couple days after the standing order goes in as it sometimes takes a few days for the money to reach the account. So just set it up a couple of weeks before the nursery starts and you can pick the day the payment goes to the nursery.

BoronationStreet Tue 09-Jul-19 19:36:53

Yes we use it and it's fab. Super easy to set up and no wait for the 20% contribution from the government, as soon as you deposit, the account is automatically credited. It's well worth doing.

Lazypuppy Tue 09-Jul-19 19:42:09

@BoronationStreet mine isn't like this. It shows as credited immediatley but it won't let me make a payment till i get confirmation the next day


HerSymphonyAndSong Tue 09-Jul-19 19:57:05

Mine is the same as lazypuppy’s - I can’t pay until the next day. My son is termtime only so the amount varies by month so I don’t have a standing order and just pay in per invoice. It takes just a few minutes per month though

DinoGreen Tue 09-Jul-19 20:01:51

Useful to know that the top up is paid immediately/next day. I’ve just opened an account having switched over from childcare vouchers because DH is moving jobs. Was getting concerned that there wouldn’t be enough time between getting paid (usually around 28th of the month) and nursery fees being due on the 1st but it sounds like we should just about be ok.

BoronationStreet Tue 09-Jul-19 20:18:52

Ah ok...well we deposit mid month then pay on the 1st so I suppose I just didn't realise there was a waiting period. My mistake! blush

Lazypuppy Tue 09-Jul-19 20:19:31

@DinoGreen thatvwouldn't be enough time for my nursery fees.

It can take up to 3 working days for the nursery to actually receive the fees.

I make sure i pay the nursery no later than 25th to ensure i'm never late

DinoGreen Tue 09-Jul-19 20:23:57

Ah ok thanks @Lazypuppy. I might need to put the money in earlier then. It’s just annoying as it means I basically have to pay double fees this month if I have to pay next month’s in before I get paid 😕

coffeeforone Tue 09-Jul-19 20:27:16

Yes. I have a DS the same age who will be starting nursery in October too. I've been paying in and getting the top ups since I went back to work in March. You do need to be back at work from mat leave, or due to return to work in the next few weeks.

coffeeforone Tue 09-Jul-19 20:30:52

Check with nursery re timing, Ours allow a few days grace for TFC payments as they know that they can take a couple of days for the funds to be paid in and then out to the nursery.
Otherwise it's great!

Sauvignonblanket Tue 09-Jul-19 20:31:41

You get 20% added per quarter to max of £500 each time. If your fees are less than that then not much need to save up. If they're more then maybe get paying in as soon as you're able. Also there's something smart to be done about when you apply - which is when each quarter starts - if you want to make the most of it. I didn't work it out until too late and can't remember what the best approach is but maybe someone else can help?

PleaseGoogleIt Tue 09-Jul-19 20:35:06

You can't start paying into the account until your return to work is within the next 28 days - so you can't start paying in early and building it up.

In terms of when you have to pay in by, I pay in on payday (25th) and it's topped up immediately, I send it onto nursery whenever I get the invoice - which is pretty much whenever they feel like it each month and they're not precious about getting payment straight away (although I always pay right away).

BoronationStreet Tue 09-Jul-19 21:59:08

@DinoGreen Almost all nurseries have at least a 3 day grace period so if you deposit on the 28th and pay on the 30th then you should be fine.

SMaCM Wed 10-Jul-19 07:04:03

It takes up to a week (sometimes longer) for the money to get from your tax free childcare account to reach the child Carer, so just process the payment in plenty of time.

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