Childcare Costs

Most childminders charge between £3.50 and £4.50 per hour per child although some offer discounts for additional siblings. Providing meals is usual additional to the normal hourly costs but most childminders will provide snacks during the day for your child free of charge.

Help with childcare costs

There are a number of schemes and grants available to help cover the costs of your childcare.

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare vouchers are a way of paying for registered or approved childcare which means that the employee does not pay tax and national insurance on up to £55 of the money they spend on childcare per week.

A child qualifies for childcare vouchers up to the 1st September following their 15th birthday, or 1st September following their 16th birthday if they are disabled.

Parents can make a saving of around £1200 per adult per year depending on their individual circumstances. It is important to note that receiving a childcare benefit or childcare vouchers from your employer can affect your entitlement to tax credits because these benefits are not counted as income for tax credit purposes. Receiving childcare and childcare vouchers will normally help you when given in addition to your normal salary as they are not liable for tax or national insurance.

Whilst the practise of accepting childcare vouchers is common within nursery and pre-school providers, there are only a few childminders who participate in the voucher scheme at present but this number is growing.

Working Parents

Some companies offer childcare schemes to help cover costs, or to offset your tax against your childcare costs. You should contact your employer to see if they offer such a scheme.

What will I need to tell the childminder?

Amongst any other information you tell your eventual choice of childminder, you must provide them with the following information:

If you are a working parent, you could also be entitled to money from the Government to help you pay for childcare. You may be able to claim up to 70% of childcare fees from the Inland Revenue.

Lone Parents

If you are a lone parent bringing up a child and are receiving Income Support, you could join New Deal for Lone Parents.

This is a Government programme designed specifically to help lone parents who want to work. You can arrange to see your New Deal for Lone Parents personal adviser for advice and information. Call the information line on 0800 868 868 or call in at your local Jobcentre or Jobcentre Plus office.


If you are a parent who wants to study or train, you may be able to get help paying for childcare while you study.

If you are over 16 but under 19 and start learning anytime after 1st August 2003, or if you are continuing a course in a school sixth form or sixth form college that you started before you were 19, you may be able to get your childcare and any necessary travel costs up to £5,000 per child per year.

You can find out more through the Care to Learn? web site or you can phone the Care to Learn? helpline on 0845 600 2809 (Monday to Friday - 8.30am-5pm)

  • How to contact you (and your partner)
  • An emergency contact telephone number
  • Details of your child's G.P. and Health Visitor
  • A record of his/her immunisations and illnesses
  • Any special requirements/routine your child may have.