There's positive news for parents, as it’s revealed that the Government is looking into new ways it can help make childcare more affordable. Prime Minister David Cameron has given a strong indication that tax breaks may be offered to families who hire nannies or childminders, reportedly saying he is ‘hugely attracted’ to the idea and finds it ‘odd’ that the current tax system doesn’t offer help to mothers who want to return to work.
One initiative thought to be being considered is a ‘maid credit’ scheme, currently used in Finland and Sweden. Under the scheme, domestic helpers such as nannies and babysitters can claim back tax credits before then invoicing the family for the remainder.
It is thought a system like this could help ease some of the financial pressures faced by families by saving them thousands of pounds each year, while also encouraging them to formalise payment arrangements.
While firm plans are yet to be made, overall it’s great to hear that the government is focusing on and considering different ways to make it easier for parents to be able to afford childcare.
Elizabeth Truss MP is backing initiatives to deregulate childminders, as one of the options to decrease childcare costs for working families. She proposes a system whereby local agencies monitor, supervise and inspect childminders and nannies, and it is these agencies which are regulated by Ofsted.
Here at CVS, we strongly back parents and would welcome any additional support being made available when it comes to ever increasing childcare costs. We would, however, add that any new initiative must always be dependent upon there being no reduction in quality or the standards of childcare.