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Help with Child Care costs incurred other than when claimant is working. 

 

Villanova
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Assistant Manager, Sheaf CAB, Sheffield

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If a lone parent works 16 hrs pw over two days, is a student for the other three days and incurs child care costs on all five days, is the Child Care Element of WTC based on her child care costs on just the two days a week that she works or on the full five days?

     
Mr Finch
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Benefits Adviser, Isle of Wight CAB

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I’ve looked at the Entitlement and Maximum Rate Regulations and I can’t see anything limiting it to childcare provided during working hours. It looks to me that subject to the weekly financial limit, any child care can be covered regardless of the reason it’s desired.

     
victoriatodd
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Welfare Rights Technical Officer, Low Incomes Tax Reform Group

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As long as you meet the working hours requirement then you can claim for childcare costs at anytime subject to the maximum limits (although those limits are applied to average weekly childcare costs - so in some weeks you could have higher costs and be ok).

See the HMRC manual which says:

There is no requirement for the childcare to be provided whilst the claimant is at work. For example if a claimant works night shifts, and puts their child into registered or approved childcare during the day whilst they sleep, the costs would still be relevant for tax credits purposes. (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/tctmanual/TCTM02630.htm)

     
Mr Finch
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Thanks for the clarification Victoria.