Childcare

1. Introduction

Most of the Ukrainians who came to Britain are mothers with children. When looking for a job, the question arises of how you can combine work and childcare. Parents in Britain also face this issue. In this guide, we will share tips for organizing looking after children (childcare) and the system that currently exists in Britain.
Guide to different types of Childcarehttps://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/guides/parents-eligibility-and-application/

2. Types of childcare in the UK

More information herehttps://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/family-and-care/becoming-a-parent/childcare-options
In short:Nanny (you hire either yourself with all the ensuing consequences, including the payment of pension contributions, etc., or through an agency that deals with salaries and all administration).
To search, you can use a specialized site or search through local groups.
https://www.childcare.co.uk/
Childminder (looks after several children at her/his own home).
You can watch an interview with a Ukrainian woman who works as childminder here:
https://fb.watch/ewXs9N8nhj/
Find registered childminderhttps://www.gov.uk/find-registered-childminder
(Day) Nursery (we call - kindergarten).They work approximately the same as in Ukraine. Covers ages from 6 weeks to 5 years.
Nursery school (preschool) - nursery school employs a trained teacher or school director, and they conduct more structured educational activities for children aged 3 to 5 years. They are attached to Primary Schools and follow the structure 

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Institutions are registered and verified by Ofsted.
You can find it using a search on the website gov.ukhttps://www.gov.uk/find-nursery-school-placeNurserys, childminders - are private businesses, respectively, they are paid.
You should also check your daycare's working hours as well as holidays and consider alternative childcare while you are at work during holiday breaks, if there are any.
Reception – is "zero class" for children aged 4 years. It is not mandatory, but many parents send their children to get used to the school atmosphere. Is free. School – public schools in Britain are free.Typical age for different schools in Britain:Primary School : 5 - 11 лет (Year 1 - Year 6)Secondary School : 11 лет - 16 лет (Year 7 - Year 11)More about it here:https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum
Breakfast and after school clubs These are paid hours before and after school. Clubs may be provided directly by the school or by third parties that have contracts with the school. They are necessary in order to enable parents to fully work. Usually, the school starts at 8:00-9:00 and ends at 15:00-16:00, but each school has its own schedule. The schools will provide you with information about early morning or after school activities so that you can enroll your child, as well as the procedure for doing so.Day camps. During the holidays, day camps operate throughout Britain, usually based on schools. Most often they are carried out by third parties.
Friends and relativesBy law, you may not use a non-family member to regularly supervise a child under the age of eight for more than two hours a day during regular business hours, unless they are a registered Childminder. This should be taken into account if you are thinking about helping with other parents to look after the children.
More here:
https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/family-and-care/becoming-a-parent/childcare-options

3. Inspection of Registered Childcare Providers

In every region of Britain there is an organization that is responsible for the inspection of nurseries, schools, childminders. You can always check the ranking of the school or when your nursery was last checked. This absolutely does not mean that you only need to look for a provider with an Outstanding rating. It only gives you additional information when choosing an educational institution.
EnglandOfsted Reporthttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted
Scotlandhttps://www.mygov.scot/school-inspection-reports
WalesCare Inspectorate Waleshttps://gov.wales/find-childcare-inspection-reports
Northern IrelandETIhttps://www.etini.gov.uk/

4. Average cost of childcare services

You can see detailed information at the link below. https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/family-and-care/becoming-a-parent/childcare-costs
Pre-school education in Britain is paid.
Average expenses for a nursery for children under 2 years old:
£138 per week part time (25 hours)
£264 per week for a full day (50 hours).

If your child goes to school and stays in an after school club (usually between 3 pm and 6 pm), then the average cost in the UK is £62 per week. 
It must be taken into account that the cost of childcare varies greatly between different regions of Britain. At the link below you can compare the costs of your post code with the average in the UK. https://www.childcare.co.uk/costs

5. What government assistance can you get to pay for childcare 

Convenient information can be obtained using the service below.https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
Below are the general principles

5.1. For all parents with children

5.1. For all parents with children Child Benefithttps://www.gov.uk/child-benefit
Who can get this help- parent with a child under 16- a parent with a child under 20 if they continue their education
What you are getting£22 per week for first child
£14 per week for subsequent children

What to fill out- online form herehttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064654/CH2_ipdf_04_22.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3z5bCmx3sw2_n1Klz1GScsebMDDNQu56J8m9FaLkNFfMHYijGvcjQ_Yj0 I filled it out and then printed it out- форму от руки (распечатываете и заполняете от руки)- Форму на последующих детей
What documents should be attached:- child's passport - child's birth certificate- it is written in the form that only originals are needed, this terrifies any Ukrainian.It is NOT necessary to attach originals, you can certify copies at the Job Centre.
The questionnaire should be sent to:
ChildBenefitOffice(GB)
Washington
NEW CASTLE UPON TYNE
NE881ZD
 The Child Benefit Office has a maximum of 16 weeks to process your request, but you will usually receive the money within a month and a half after you submit your application.  For all parents of children aged 3You are entitled to 15 free hours per week.
What to do to get these 15 hours
- find a childcare where they are ready to take you. Where to looking for :https://www.gov.uk/find-registered-childminderIMPORTANT! Give your child only to officially registered institutions or officially registered people.- your nursery or registered childminder will tell you how you can use these 15 hours (for example, 2 days a week for 7.5 hours or 5 days a week for 3 hours).- you apply through your Council. They must confirm that you are eligible for these 15 hours of free nursery.Next, you start taking your child to nursery for these 15 free hours.
If childcare is able to take you for more hours, you may be able to pay for them yourself or get help through Universal Credit or other options listed below if you are employed. 

Free school mealsAll children in Year 1 and Year 2 at school receive meals free of charge.
If you get Universal Credit, your children and older children can get free school meals.
More here  
https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
Free campsOften your school may offer free day camp sites during the school holidays that are paid for by your local Council.
Typically, these places are offered to those who can receive free school meals (i.e. Year 1, Year 2, and those who receive Universal Credit).
More about the program here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/holiday-activities-and-food-programme/holiday-activities-and-food-programme-2021

5.2 For everyone who receives Universal Credit

For parents of children aged 2If you have Universal Credit and your family income is less than £15,400 a year, you can get 15 hours of free childcare.
More information об этом здесь

The process for claiming is the same as for free hours for 3 and 4 year olds above. 
For working parents receiving Universal Credit:
Refund of 85% of Childcare expenses
Basically, women with children, often small ones, come from Ukraine now. And they don’t understand at all how they can go to work if the nurserys are expensive, and the child is under 2 years old, when no free hours are even allowed /
For mothers with children on low incomes who work, the government came up with a scheme to return 85% of the cost of a child.

How does this happen :- you got a job or you already went to work. As an example, take a mother who will work 4 hours a day. This mother has a child 1 year old.- you have found a nursery or childminder (see the first section of our guide) where you would like to send your child.For example, take this nurseryhttp://tinysteps.org.uk/fees/The cost for half a day (5 hours) is £34 (this is quite an expensive childcare, but let's take it as an example).- you report to your Universal Credit account that you have received a job and would like a refund for childcare.- the maximum amount that the government will pay you for childcare, even if 85% is higher than this amount· £646 per one child· £1108 if you have two or more children- let's say mom gets £10 an hour, for a total of £200 a week.- nursery will cost her about £688 a month (with 20 working days). If the government was not ready to return money for childcare, then it would be very problematic for this mother to work.Let's do the calculations:· You are entitled to a Universal Credit of £335 on you
· Plus you are entitled to Universal Credit of £245 on your child
· Plus you are entitled to Universal Credit as a refund of 85% of your childcare costs. You will be covered 85% of the costs, total £688 -15% = £585. These are approximate amounts, as amounts may vary from month to month.
 Вам будут покрываться 85% расходов, итого £688 -15% = £585. Это приблизительные суммы, так как месяц к месяцу суммы могут меняться. You will need to pay the rest of 15% yourself from the money you earn or from your Universal Credit balance.
Conclusion :
- from a financial point of view, it is better to work than NOT to work, even having a small child.
- your child will socialize faster in a new environment if he is in nursery for half a day
- you will socialize faster in Britain by working a few hours
- if you are NOT working, you are NOT eligible for a childcare refund.
- as childcare refunds are limited to £646, consider half day care as full day costs over £1000 per month.
- important! these funds are REFUND for childcare, so they will be paid to you only AFTER receiving childcare services in the first month, that is, they will return the money after the fact, depending on how much you paid.Useful linksрассчет по калькуляторуИнформация на сайте gov.ukMore info if anyone is interestedhttps://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costshttps://www.turn2us.org.uk/.../Help-with-Childcare-Costs...
Flexible Support FundIf you are waiting for an interview and you have no one to leave your child with, you can ask your Job Advisor at the Job Center to pay for childcare while you are at the interview through the Flexible Support Fund, which is available in every Job Center
This assistance is provided by the Job Center itself, so you need to explain with reason what you need and why.

Free school mealsAll children in Year 1 and Year 2 at school receive meals free of charge.
If you get Universal Credit, your children and older children can get free school meals.
More here 
https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals
Free campsOften your school may offer free day camp sites during the school holidays that are paid for by your local Council.
Typically, these places are offered to those who can receive free school meals (i.e. Year 1, Year 2, and those who receive Universal Credit).
More about the program here: 
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/holiday-activities-and-food-programme/holiday-activities-and-food-programme-2021

5.3 For working parents

For parents of children aged 3Under certain conditions, you can get 30 free hours per week.
Read more here:
https://www.gov.uk/30-hours-free-childcare?step-by-step-nav=f517cd57-3c18-4bb9-aa8b-1b907e279bf9
Briefly about the scheme in England:
You must work at least 16 hours per week
If you have a husband or wife, they must work at least 16 hours a week

5.4 For those who are not entitled to Universal Credit due to income level

Tax Free ChildcareIf your income is already higher than the Universal Credit requirement, you may be able to save on Childcare through a tool called "tax free childcare"
Full details here:
https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/how-to-use-tax-free-childcare/
SystemFor every £8 you put into your childcare account, the government adds £2. You can receive up to £2000 per child per year (maximum £500 per quarter) or £4000 for children with disabilities (maximum £1000 per quarter).
You can use Tax Free Childcare to pay for skilled childcare. This is a managed care or supervised activity that is not part of your child's compulsory education, for example by:
• Registered babysitters, nurseries
• Registered preschool and afterschool clubs
• Registered schools (excluding tuition fees, unless your child is under compulsory school age)
• Childminders

How to registerAs with the Self Assessment registration (see Self-Employment guide), Ukrainians can only be identified through Government Getaway if they have a UK driver's license, and answer questions about a bank account and credit cards.
If you are unable to authenticate, you must register by phone.
You need to start here: 
https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-tax-free-childcare?utm_source=childcarechoices&utm_medium=micrositeTelephone :
0300 123 4097
Childcare Service Service HMRC

You will call 2 times
First time: you need to send a letter via gov.uk in order to be declared digitally excluded by HMRC (you will write a letter according to the instructions on the phone and in a few days you will receive a specific reference number that you can then use)

Sample email you will receive:
Hello ABC,
Unfortunately you will not be able to use the online service due to insufficient data to verify your identity.
Please contact the Childcare Service Helpline on 0300 123 4097, quote the reference code IDA-IE and ask to be treated as digitally excluded.
Please note, Digital Customer Support Team cannot assist with helpline queries.

Second time: you call, give your reference number and go through the phone registration process. IMPORTANT! During the registration process, you will set your phone login password. It is highly recommended to remember it. At the moment, there are no methods for its restoration, the whole process will have to be started anew.
Next, you will receive a registration email in the mail, where your special bank account for “replenishment” will be written.

Next steps :For example, next month your childcare will cost £240.
- you will be able to “send” money from your regular bank account to a special tax account for tax free childcare (the details of this account will come by mail). For example, you sent £240.
-The government will automatically report £60 in this situation (£2 for every £8 you contribute).
- You will be able to call and register your childcare provider over the phone and create, for example, a monthly payment if your services are regular. You will need to remember to replenish your account with the same amount in advance.
- in this way, payment to your service representative will occur automatically from your special account, which you must replenish yourself or through a standing order or manually each time.

6. How different schemes can work together

You can combine receiving different services together, but there are certain rules.
More here: 
https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/using-childcare-schemes-together/
In short:
Choose from one of the schemes: Universal Credit 85% childcare costs, Tax Free Childcare
And it can be combined with free hours according to age. 

7. Life hacks

Together with the above methods, British mothers use the following solutions
● During the holidays, many take turns taking vacations with their partner.
● You can team up with other moms in your area and watch your kids take turns (within the allowance if the kids are under 8)
● Speak to Family Services at your local Council; they can advise if there are any additional local services/discounts for childcare
● Working in schools and nurseries often gives a large discount on the cost of expenses (there may be a nursery school at the school). If you have experience and English allows you - take an interest in vacancies