Parents on Universal Credit could get up to £1,100 towards childcare

Autumn Statement: Hunt announces rise in Universal Credit

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People can get the support from the birth of their child up to the age of 16, or up to the age of 17 if the child is disabled. The money is provided to help meet the costs of nursery, pre-school and childminding, as well as for school clubs.

Claimants can get back childcare costs of up to £646 a month for one child or up to £1,108 a month for two or more children.

Rachel Culverwell, a mum of two young boys from Burnley, recently secured the childcare funding, reports LancashireLive.

She said: “The funding meant we were both able to return to work without added financial pressure and carry on with our lives as working parents.

“I’ve seen so many benefits from the boys attending nursery and it’s important for me to see they are being well looked after in a warm, nurturing environment.

“They have really developed in confidence and their ability to play well with other children, sharing and taking turns.”

Most working families on Universal Credit can get tax-free childcare by using an online payment account, which is topped up by the Government.

For every £8 a family pays in, the Government will top this up by adding a £2 payment, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.

The money is paid in arrears, so a family will pay for their childcare costs themself, and then the Government will pay them some of the money back.

If a person needs help with the costs at the time they pay them, they can discuss this with their work coach.

Lancashire County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “We appreciate that many families are finding it difficult to make ends meet in times of rising costs so we want to make them aware of what help may be available to them.

“As well as supporting parents to work, this funding means that their children can access a high-quality education and childcare provider of their choice.

“It can be confusing to know what childcare options and help with costs apply to you, as it varies depending on your circumstances.

“Our Family Information Service are on hand to provide advice and talk parents through the process.”

If a person wants to contact their local council to ask what support is available, they can find out who their local council is using a tool on the Government website.

Universal Credit payments are increasing by 10.1 percent in April along with several other benefits such as PIP.

Claimants of Universal Credit receive a basic “standard allowance”, then additional amounts on top depending on how many children they have, any disabilities, and other circumstances.

The new standard allowance rates for April 2023 are:

Standard allowance monthly rate

  • Single under 25: £292.11 (a difference of £26.80)
  • Single 25 or over: £368.74 (a difference of £33.83)
  • Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (a difference of £42.06)
  • Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (a difference of £53.10.

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