Childcare Tax Breaks for Working Parents

Regular readers of my Blog will know that I have strong opinions about the lack of good tax breaks for working parents paying for all forms of childcare

17/01/2013

 

At Tinies we see parents struggle every day trying to meet the costs of childcare.

However I am always hopeful that a Government will put this issue at the forefront of its agenda. And I thought my wishes had come true when childcare was announced as a key component of the Coalition's Mid Term Review, presented this month.

Parents with nannies

Those hopes unfortunately were pretty much dashed. Firstly they announced that they would be looking at offering tax relief to parents paying for nurseries and childminders.

What about parents paying for nannies?

Why are they always an afterthought?

Just offering tax breaks to parents who use nurseries and childminders does not help those parents who work such long hours that those 2 forms of childcare cannot help them. Every working mum that I know has to leave the house before 7am - there aren't many nurseries who can afford to open their doors that early.

Anand Shukla of the Daycare Trust wrote in the Guardian: "We need to ensure that there is childcare for parents with atypical work patterns…". I agree - but with the insertion of the word "affordable" before "childcare".

Affordable childcare!

The level of tax relief in the Review was mooted as around £2,000. This may seem generous, but given a full time place at a nursery costs £16,000 and a full time nanny costs on average £24,000 per annum, how do they think £2k is going to make any significant difference to a parents' annual childcare bill?

In any case, within days of this profound announcement, the Government had to back track and put the whole thing on hold as it would appear even their own ministers can't agree on what this policy should be and who it should apply to.

So once again, it is a matter of watching this space, and hoping that within my lifetime a Government gets its childcare policy right.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

 
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