Tax credits are payments from the government. If you’re responsible for at least one child or young person who normally lives with you, you may qualify for Child Tax Credit. (HMRC)
Family eligibility for tax credit depends on factors such as age, employment status, number of children, disabilities & other benefits claimed. In general, the family needs to earn less than £58 000 combined/year to qualify.
Some employers also give out childcare vouchers.
For a family to be able to gain the tax credits or childcare vouchers, they have to employ a registered carer. The governing body in the UK is Ofsted and the au pair must register with them on a voluntary, home based childcare scheme.
The number for tax credits is 08453 003900, or for more information, please see: www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits
Guide for Families:
- Contact Ofsted – ask for your au pair to be registered under the voluntary Ofsted scheme.
- Complete the form sent to you by Ofsted and return it with a valid first aid certificate(1)
- Ofsted will conduct a police check/CRB on the person – even if the au pair already has a valid CRB. If the person has lived in the UK for less than 5 years, which is the case with most au pairs, she or he would be required to acquire a good conduct letter/certificate from the embassy (in English or translated in English by an authorized translator).
- Ofsted will thereafter send you another form (verify form) which you would take to the post office (together with an ID to check your identity).
- Payment of the application fee – £103 – the fee becomes repayable annually as long as the person wishes to be registered.
- The au pair is also required to have a childcare qualification from their home country or from the UK which is equivalent to the level 2 or they have to enrol on a Common Core Skills and Knowledge Course (2) by contacting their local authority. For more information, please call Children Work Force Development Council on 01132 446 311 or on 0300 123 1033
- The au pair is also required to have personal public liability insurance, most households have an insurance which would not cover the au pair if she has an accident so she would need to acquire on of her own.
- The duration of the registration process is between 12 and 14 weeks (6-8 weeks to receive the CRB check).
(1)First Aid Course
The certificate must be for a paediatric first aid course – which can be either a 6 or 12 hour course. The family is required to make sure the course is suitable for the Ofsted Voluntary childcare scheme.
(2)Common Core Skills and Knowledge Course
If your local authority does not offer the course then you may contact a training organizer. One provider is MNT Training who runs two Common Core Skills and Knowledge courses. First being a 2 day course in London (costing £150/run monthly). You will receive a certificate and may have an assessment (but this is not required by Ofsted). Second course is a distant learning course for people who are unable to attend in London. The course cost is £150 and at the end of the course an assessment is conducted for proof of completed studies.
Information gathered by Sara Rahmani/Monica from Peek a Boo Childcare