This is a critical time for parents to make an informed choice about what form of financial support to access to assist them with their childcare costs. The government has introduced a new form of support, Tax-Free Childcare, while the Childcare Vouchers scheme is currently due to close to new entrants only in April 2018. This means that, in order to benefit from that scheme, parents will need to have signed up to it before then. Some families will be better off using Tax-Free Childcare (approximately 30%), while others will be better off using Childcare Vouchers, Tax Credits, or a combination of both (approximately 70%). It can be complex working out what is best in each individual situation, so to make the best choice for their family, we recommend that parents read our Big Changes, Big Choices guide and call our Family Benefits Advice Service on freephone 0800 028 3008 for advice.
Please click here to download: Big Changes, Big Choices guide
Northern Ireland Universal Credit Information Booklet, dated Sept 2016 from the Department of Communities explaining that:
Universal Credit is a new payment for working age people, aged 18 to 64, who are on a low income or out of work which will be introduced in Northern Ireland on a phased geographical basis from September 2017. Universal Credit will help make sure individuals are better off in work than on benefits and give them the help they need to prepare for work, start work or earn more money. It will include support for the cost of housing, children and childcare, as well as financial support for dis-abled people, carers and people who are too ill to work.
Also, the Citizen’s advice website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk has a helpful summary of what is required in applying for Universal Tax Credits.