6 May 2020

Childcare support - Coronavirus update

The Government have announced that parents who are normally eligible for the government’s childcare offers will continue receiving the entitlements during the summer term if their income levels fall due to the impact of coronavirus.

The statement confirms that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to COVID-19. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working Tax Credit

We are awaiting confirmation from HMRC regarding the position for WTC claimants who get help with childcare costs. Those who are in qualifying remunerative work and who continue using childcare (because they are key-workers) and therefore incurring costs can continue claiming the childcare element. If the claimant has lost their job (been made redundant) or stopped trading as a self-employed person and no longer meets the qualifying remunerative work test for the childcare element, then they will no longer be able to claim help with childcare costs.

Universal Credit

*Initially, DWP confirmed that, for universal credit, only claimants who are classed as critical workers can receive help with their childcare costs whilst the Government’s response to coronavirus is in place.

* 21 May 2020. DWP have updated their position regarding childcare support for universal credit claimants. From Wednesday 13th May, childminders can open to non-critical workers but in a limited way under strict new measures. Up to 13 May childcare had only been open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children. From May 13th, childminders and nannies are allowed to offer paid childcare to children of non-critical workers but only if they are caring for children from the same household. Following this further lockdown easement, the position with Universal Credit childcare is that if critical or non-critical workers can access registered childcare, it will be paid as part of a claimant’s universal credit claim in the normal way.

More information about childcare and universal credit is available on DWP’s Understanding Universal Credit website