Good News for Parents Returning to Work

New government plans announced this week will help an extra 80,000 lower income families receive childcare support. Currently, childcare support is only available for people working 16 hours or more by way of providing credits to cover 70% of their childcare costs



New plans will remove the minimum hours rule so that all families receiving Universal Credit will be eligible for financial help. The changes will be implemented in 2013.

Universal Credit

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:

"We are determined to help more parents take their first steps into work, but under the current minimum hours rule parents are trapped in state dependency without the childcare support they badly need - providing yet another barrier to work. Under Universal Credit more people will receive support for childcare than they do now. Parents will be able to work the hours to suit their families and receive the childcare support they deserve."

Welcomed by Charities

The news has been welcomed by Charities who said the funding was evidence the government had been listening to the concerns of parents who are struggling with childcare costs, but they feel still more could be done to make childcare more affordable.

I think this is very good news for parents keen to return to work.

It will allow them to keep a higher proportion of their income as well as giving further flexibility to work around their children.

I believe this is a much needed boost for lower income families and, simply put, it is encouraging news for those mums out there who are keen to rediscover a bit of their own independence whilst earning some extra cash.

On the whole I think this is a small but positive move in the right direction and would like to think that this is just the beginning of further improvements to the current system.

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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