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150,000 FAMILIES TO GET HELP WITH CHILDCARE COSTS

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Social Security secretary Peter Lilley has outlined regulations which will give 150,000 working families substantia...
Social Security secretary Peter Lilley has outlined regulations which will give 150,000 working families substantial help with the costs of childcare.

From October, families claiming family credit, disability working allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit from October 3rd, will have childcare costs of up to £40 a week offset against their earnings when their benefit entitlement is assessed.

Families claiming family credit could receive up to £28 extra each week in their benefit.

Approximately 50,000 families are expected to take up work as a direct result of this measure. In addition, 100,000 families currently in work will receive more benefit each week.

The extra help will apply to: couples where both partners are working 16 hours or more; couples where one partner is working 16 hours or more and the other is incapacitated, and lone parents working 16 hours or more who use formal childcare for a child aged under 11 through registered childminders, day nurseries and playschemes.

Peter Lilley said: 'These measures will provide a real incentive to encourage parents to return to the job market.

'Lone parents, in particular, who also have the first £15 of child maintenance disregarded in family credit, will be significantly better off in work with this additional help towards their childcare costs.

'The £40 disregard exceeds the figure of £35 advocated by the Daycare Trust, and families claiming family credit after October 3rd could receive extra money in their benefit each week.'

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