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Breaking News March 14th 2018 Childcare scheme gets six-month reprieve

14 Mar 2018

Education Secretary Damian Hinds made the concession during a Commons debate yesterday March 13th.

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Low Cost Children: How to Save When Raising a Family


The financial investment in your children begins before it's really started...cot, clothes, bottles, toys, pram, bouncer and the list goes on. Speaking from experience, parents really do feel the pinch in their pockets long before their baby is born and, as any parent knows, the cost of raising a child does not stop for years, if at all. But just how expensive is it?

It's difficult to put a real price tag on raising a child but research by insurer LV= (Liverpool Victoria) states that each child you raise will cost you £210,000. A staggering amount and probably far more than you expected.

Childcare and education account for the biggest proportion, costing parents a total of £67,000. The cost of education, which excludes private schooling, but includes uniforms, extracurricular activities and university fees, has grown by 5.3% in the past 12 months*. Clothing, food, holidays and personal care have also seen growth in spend. These financial pressures and the possible loss of future child benefits are not surprisingly, terrifying parents into severe budget cuts.

With a little bit of planning however, parents should be able to make the most of their money. In terms of investing for your child's future, it's unrealistic to expect to be able to provide for everything. If you can save a small amount on a regular basis, you will build up a lump sum that will help your children in the long run.

By researching the various government allowances on offer, such as Child Benefit, will help to make ends meet. These government schemes are available to low income earners or those already receiving benefits and include Tax credits, payments made from the government to families who have at least one child, regularly living with them. There are also a number of other contributions, vouchers and further financial relief to help towards the costs of school uniforms, transport and meals, all of which add up. Assistance with heating and insulation improvements on privately owned or rented homes is also available through government grant schemes.

If parents are balancing study or work with raising a young family, good childcare is essential. There are various schemes to help manage the cost of childcare. Tax credits are provided by the Government to assist working parents to pay for nursery care. The actual amount you receive will depend on your income - the lower your income, the more tax credits you can get.

Childcare vouchers, is a scheme aimed at helping working parents to save hundreds of pounds every year on childcare. Vouchers are normally obtained through salary sacrifice but occasionally, employers choose to give vouchers to their staff in addition to their usual pay. In both cases, the vouchers are free of tax and national insurance for parents and employers.
For nursery education, funding is available to parents of all 3 and 4 year olds, and will pay towards a portion of their nursery fees.

To prepare for the cost of higher education, parents can investigate student loans but with the average student today graduating with over £16,000 of debt, many parents will want to help pay for some of the costs upfront. Finding a lump sum of this amount is almost impossible. Other funding options that don't have to be paid back include means-tested grants (help for those on lower incomes), bursaries and scholarships, both offered to a wide range of students.

The cost of raising a child is indeed expensive and your money needs to stretch to cover all sorts of things. With a little bit of planning you'll be able to make the most of your money, both for the short and longer term. Consider saving even a small amount each month. It will soon build into a substantial fund and go some way to meeting the cost of higher education.

Resource: *Guardian online.

Author: Eoin Olivers photo

Author: Eoin Oliver

Eoin Oliver is a web designer and blogger with six years of experience writing content and designing graphics for clients large and small. For the past three years Eoin has been focused on researching and writing about the childcare voucher scheme. When not hard at work, Eoin can be found in the company of his 4-legged companion Layla.

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