Your view: Government childcare plan to be introduced

19/03/13

Children's boots

Parents will be able to claim back up to 20% of their childcare costs from 2015, according to a new plan.

The government's said that from 2015 families where both parents, or a single parent work, will be able to get up to £1,200 per year back per child.

Labour says parents need help now.

After we'd factored in rail costs and then paying a childminder, there'd be no point me going to work.
Abi Smith from Crawley

There will be a public consultation first, then parents will be allowed to claim back 20% out of a total of around £6,000 - what the government says is the average annual price of a childcare place.

It would cover children up to five years old, but will build up "over time" to include under-12s.

Unlike the current voucher system, which only operates where employers support it, the new scheme would be paid per child, instead of per household.

Parents earning up to £150,000 a year each - or a maximum of £300,000 per household - would be eligible.

Abi from Crawley

Abi Smith is out shopping with her two children Henry and Lily in Crawley. She uses her mum to help her with childcare.

"Part of the reason was, after we'd factored in rail costs and then paying a childminder, there'd be no point me going to work," she said.

"The difference was so slight because as soon as I earned something it would be going straight out again.

"It's ridiculous. So many of my friends really struggle and they say it's worse when you've got more than one because the childcare costs go up.

"As a parent I think you get to a stage when any help is help.

"I get child benefit. That's all I get from the government.

"Why can't they just start things when they bring up an idea, get them going a bit sooner? 2015 is ridiculous."

Find out more about the proposed childcare voucher scheme

Have your say on the Newsbeat Facebook page

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Nicola: My daughter attends nursery two days a week costing £350 per month. Both myself and my husband work and can't afford to send her for more days without compromising our household food budget.

Jenny: About time! I pay £800 a month for one child to go to nursery four days a week. It cripples me. Somehow us working parents seem to get penalised for wanting to go back to work after having children.

Rachael: If you're planning on going back to work after having a child then research the cost of childcare before you start popping them out. I find that a lot of people don't research the true cost of having a child before making that decision.

Stuart: Both my wife and I work as do my mum and dad. We get no help from the government. Why not just plan better and have kids your family can afford?

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