Childcare Costs discussion

edited 15 June 2010 at 1:33PM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
190 replies 81.1K views
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  • whmonwhmon Forumite
    3 Posts
    There is a massive scam ongoing with the Children's aspect of Working Tax Credits that must be costing the country millions. I own a Children's Day nursery and recently discovered that an ex-employee was/is? claiming £1000 per month in nursery fees for her 2 children against my registration number (and having 3 foreign holidays per year with the proceeds). In actual fact, her 2 children rarely attended the nursery.

    This is how the scam works; parents simply log on to the Ofsted website, click onto the details of any nursery or childminder they wish, record the registration number and then contact Working Families Tax Credits giving the registration number and details of their (fabricated) costs.

    That's all it takes! After that, the money is paid into their bank accounts and they can continue to e.g share childcare between them as they work shifts or get grannie to watch the children for free etc. The nursery who's registration number they are using knows nothing about it.

    I have owned my nursery for three years now. Not once, ever, have I been contacted by the powers that be to confirm attendance or even registration at this nursery. I am one small nursery owner in the North-East, I have no idea how many children are falsely registered against my number, no idea how many thousands of pounds per month may be being paid out through our taxes against my nursery registration number. How many in the country???
  • onlyrozonlyroz Forumite
    17.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    To Bestofmum3 - are you going to be an undergrad or postgrad? I don't think you're entitled to tax credits because as a full-time student you won't be paying any tax. However, won't your husband be entitled to some? And can he claim childcare vouchers?

    Does your university have a nursery? I know that mine did, and I think it was subsidsed - two of the other students in my research group put their sons there, but I don't know how much they paid.
  • onlyroz wrote: »
    To Bestofmum3 - are you going to be an undergrad or postgrad? I don't think you're entitled to tax credits because as a full-time student you won't be paying any tax. However, won't your husband be entitled to some? And can he claim childcare vouchers?

    Does your university have a nursery? I know that mine did, and I think it was subsidsed - two of the other students in my research group put their sons there, but I don't know how much they paid.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I will be a post-grad student - doing Primary Teaching. It will only be for 10 months so it should be quick. I am guaranteed a full-time probationary year next year, therefore I will be earning a full time wage.

    Two of my children are at school, therefore it will be after school for them. The youngest is 3 and is at childminders, just part-time just now. Although that will increase to full-time end August. University is quite a bit of travelling and I will have 4 placements throughout so it will not really be worthwhile putting him into the uni nursery.

    Hubbie will be entitled to Tax Credits just not any help with childcare costs. If I could get any form of employment for 16 hours a week I will receive help.
  • whmon wrote: »
    There is a massive scam ongoing with the Children's aspect of Working Tax Credits that must be costing the country millions. I own a Children's Day nursery and recently discovered that an ex-employee was/is? claiming £1000 per month in nursery fees for her 2 children against my registration number (and having 3 foreign holidays per year with the proceeds). In actual fact, her 2 children rarely attended the nursery.

    This is how the scam works; parents simply log on to the Ofsted website, click onto the details of any nursery or childminder they wish, record the registration number and then contact Working Families Tax Credits giving the registration number and details of their (fabricated) costs.

    That's all it takes! After that, the money is paid into their bank accounts and they can continue to e.g share childcare between them as they work shifts or get grannie to watch the children for free etc. The nursery who's registration number they are using knows nothing about it.

    I have owned my nursery for three years now. Not once, ever, have I been contacted by the powers that be to confirm attendance or even registration at this nursery. I am one small nursery owner in the North-East, I have no idea how many children are falsely registered against my number, no idea how many thousands of pounds per month may be being paid out through our taxes against my nursery registration number. How many in the country???

    When you log onto the Ofsted website, you cannot see any childminder/nurseries name. It is purely by their registration number. This makes it much more difficult to scam as they need to tell the inland revenue of my name and address too. I often give prospective parents - who are genuine, my number so they can read my inspection report online.

    I have also been contacted probably 5 times in the last 2 years asking if I am providing childcare for X. Each time, they've wanted to know what I'm being paid, cash or cheque, and are the payments up to date. Maybe it's a regional thing, but I know many childminders around here have been asked the same things. I was once phoned too.

    Y-L
  • hjm_2hjm_2 Forumite
    1 Post
    Hope someone can help me with this. My partner's company will only provide help towards our childcare costs if I agree to not claim them from my employer. I've argued that this is wrong, and that we should both be entitled. The only thing I can understand is that they do not use the government's official 'voucher' scheme, opting for an invoice and cheque method, which I can only presume means that it's their own 'unique' way of being 'giving' to their employees.

    Has anyone else heard of this? Currently we're missing out on an extra £250 or thereabouts, and I'm fuming. Surely my partner's company can't do this? :rolleyes:
  • owensmumowensmum Forumite
    2 Posts
    my husband and I both work >16 hours a week and bring in about £26500 pa total. however, the last tax credit statement I got said I was entitled to £0 childcare costs.

    we only have one son and my mother has him some of the time, but he goes to a registered nursery for one full day per week. Our cost are £36 for that day. Is it because our costs are relativly small that we get no help? I just assumed we earned too much, but the article says upto £40k. I know the system is flawed and calculations can be wrong. is it worth my while contesting this?
  • Hello

    I was interested in reading about the frustrations of being self-employed and childcare costs. My partner and I are both self-employed, we need to earn 20k + each p.a. to pay the mortgage and bills and we are just over the limit to get help with childcare. So for £500 part-time childcare a month, all we get from WTC/CTC is £8 a week in total. The other problem is that if your little one is ill, you can't work and get paid because you want to look after them, but you still have to pay nursery (as understandbly they still have to pay staff).

    It seems that the self-employed are discriminated against, maybe tax breaks for the self-employed (as there are with CTVouchers for the employed) would help? Please start one of your brilliant campaigns for this Martin!
  • My wife and I have a joint income of just under £25000, I rang the HM revenue helpline and they said we would qualify for the childcare element. Our childcare costs are only £16 per week. But when the amended figures came in the post, the childcare element of the working tax credit was 0 due to income. However when I compared our old form (before we started childcare), the amount we get from the child tax credit part has increased by a figure which does indeed equal 80% of the childcare we pay. So we are getting it, it's just that the form is misleading. There must be thousands of people out there who think they're not getting it (OWENSMUM you could be one as your income and childcare costs are similar to ours), when actually they may be!
    If anyone could explain why they do this on the form....?
  • fawd1fawd1 Forumite
    715 Posts
    erm does anyone know where I would stand legally with this? My friend and I are expecting our babies literally four days apart and have deicided to each go part time in our jobs and have the other look after our babies when we're at work (she looks after bubs Monday Wednesday Thursday say and I cover Tuesday and Friday) but we've just been told that it may be illegal to do this as we aren't legally registered childminders. Can this be right? we wouldn't be paying one another, and we wouldn't be looking after anyone else's children, so surelythe government don't have to be involved at all?
  • RoxieWRoxieW Forumite
    3K Posts
    Not illegal at all - just means you cant claim child tax credit for childcare.
    MANAGED TO CLEAR A 3K OVERDRAFT IN ONE FRUGAL, SUPER CHARGED MONEY EARNING MONTH!:j
    £10 a day challenge Aug £408.50, Sept £90
    Weekly.
    155/200
    "It's not always rainbows and butterflies, It's compromise that moves us along."
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