Cut the cost of Childcare
- Use all your benefits - families with at least one child are entitled to child benefit until 2013 (when payments will be stopped for families where either parent earns over £44,000 a year). You'll receive £20.30 a week tax-free for your eldest child, plus £13.40 for each additional child. You can also claim child tax credits, which are based on your income and how many children you have. If you work more than 16 hours a week and pay for registered childcare, you can also claim some of the cost through working tax credits.
- Childcare vouchers - Ask your employer about childcare voucher schemes, which are a form of salary sacrifice. Because you claim these benefits before tax, effectively you will be reducing your tax bill. Basic-rate taxpayers stand to receive vouchers worth a maximum of £243 a month, while higher-rate earners can claim up to £124.
- Utilise free childcare - from the term after your child's third birthday they are eligible for at least 15 hours a week of early years care, for a maximum of 38 weeks per year.