Forms of Payment and Funding Sources
Our fees are paid monthly in advance before the 7th of each month and we can provide invoices and statements as needed. We issue fees monthly by taking the weekly amount and multiplying by 50 weeks of the year then dividing by 12. This means we do not charge for bank holidays and Christmas closure.
The nursery accepts either direct debit or childcare vouchers in settlement of fees, as well as payment from funding sources. We can also accept cheques, credit/debit cards or BACS transfer but usually only for initial deposits or extras. If you wish to pay by BACS directly into our bank for deposits or extras then the details are as follows:
The Wishing Tree Nursery
Lloyds Bank plc
Sort Code : 30-98-74
Account No : 38542460
Early Years Free Entitlement (EYFE) for 2, 3 and 4 year olds
All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early education for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday). The early education can take place in nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools or at their childminders. Please click here for more information.
Some two year old children may also be eligible for a free place subject to local authority means and status testing. Funding is generally linked to household income and you can find out more here.
In 2017 the Government has committed to increasing the funding for 3 and 4 year olds to 30 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year, and we will be updating this post as and when more information becomes available. In the meantime, please click here for more information.
Very simply, fee collection is a direct debit service which collects payments from parents’ accounts at the same time every month, usually the 1st or 2nd. The money is then transferred to our account by the 6th of the month. Parents will be notified at least 7 days beforehand by letter or email as to how much will be taken from their account. If a mistake occurs and too much money is actually taken by direct debit, the nursery will refund the difference within 24 hours. If too little is taken then this is added to the following month’s direct debit. Our service provider is Parenta FeePlanner and you can see more information here.
Vouchers (Ending September 2017)
Workplace vouchers are a Government-approved, tax-efficient way of paying for childcare. If you join the scheme, you can currently exchange up to £243 a month (£55 a week) of your gross salary for childcare vouchers.
Childcare Vouchers work through a salary sacrifice scheme which means parents swap part of their salary, to contribute towards their childcare costs. The part of your gross salary you exchange for childcare vouchers is tax-free and exempt from National Insurance contributions (NI). Because of this, you can currently make savings of up to £933 per parent, per year.
Most working parents are eligible for childcare vouchers provided they are offered through their place of work. However, there may be some instances where parents are not, or where vouchers may affect entitlement to other benefits. If you are self-employed you are not currently eligible for tax free vouchers, although this is due to change in September 2017 when the government is introducing a new childcare scheme, see below. We accept any government accredited childcare voucher scheme and below we list some of the more popular providers, with links to their websites:
New entry into a voucher scheme will end by September 2017 in favour of the tax free scheme shown below.
Finally, a good source of information on vouchers can be found here.
Proposed Tax Free Scheme (September 2017)
Under the new scheme, eligible families will get 20% of their annual childcare costs paid for by the Government. The way it works is that for every 80p you pay into a newly-created Childcare Account, the Government will contribute 20p. This could mean up to £2,000 per child (the scheme assumes a maximum of £10,000 per year childcare costs per child – if you pay more, you won’t get more help).
The new scheme will be open to single parents/couples who work eight or more hours a week, including self-employed, and who pay for Ofsted-registered childcare for a child under the age of 12, or under 17 if the child is disabled. It will also be open to all qualifying parents, unlike childcare vouchers which can only be bought by people whose employer offers the scheme. Enrolment into this new scheme has yet to be announced. Further information can be found here.
Child Tax Credits
If you have children and you’re on a low income, you could be eligible for Child Tax Credits to help you with the costs of raising a child. The amount you can claim depends on things like:
- your household income
- how many children you have living with you
- whether your child has a disability
If your annual household income is below a certain level, you could be entitled to the maximum amount for each Child Tax Credit element you qualify for. This is called the ‘income threshold’. Anything you earn above that will reduce the amount you can get. To find out more about whether you might qualify please click here.
One issue you need to take into account when looking at tax credits, is whether you might be better off with workplace vouchers and it’s a fine line at certain income thresholds. If you would like to work out whether tax credits or vouchers work better for you then this is a good source of information.
Student Funding for Childcare
Full-time higher education students with children can apply for a Childcare Grant, which helps with childcare costs for children under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs. You must be eligible to apply, and for further information please click here.