Financial Support for Childminders
Charging parents while not working
If you have a voluntary arrangement with parents that they will continue to support you financially while you are closed, either due to shielding or as a consequence of the ‘test and trace’ system, this may continue. However, any agreement must be voluntary because you cannot require a charge if you are not offering a service and the CMA are actively pursuing providers who have wrongly charged parents while not offering a service. You should ensure your policies and contracts reflect this – you will find more information and guidance on writing your contracts and policies here.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
The scheme, which is a grant (not a loan) has been extended and childminders who are eligible will be able to claim a final grant in August.
The August grant payment will be worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits. It will be paid in a single instalment and will cover 3 months’ worth of profits; it will be capped at £6,570 in total.
Bear in mind that you will have to put the grant through your accounts as income in 2020-21 and may have to pay 20% tax and any class 4 national insurance (currently set at 9% on profits over £9,501 for 2020-21) that is due on the grant in addition to your usual class 2 national insurance payment.
Some childminders who do not have an income or savings are eligible to claim Universal Credit. Note that if you claim the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, it will affect the amount of money you receive from your Universal Credit claim.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you are claiming furlough for one or more staff members, the rules are changing from 1st July. For example, from 1 July, you can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern (and pay them as usual), while still being able to claim a grant for the hours not worked as long as staff are already registered on the system. However, the dates for making your claim will change and you should be mindful of this when budgeting.
From 1 August 2020, you will have to contribute more towards the cost of your staff wages – see the website for more information.
Note that new legislation is going through Parliament at the moment (expected to become law in July) to target those submitting incorrect or fraudulent claims on behalf of employees.
Lobbying for more support
Childcare.co.uk are lobbying the Government for more financial support for childminders who are facing hardships as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdown and beyond. This includes trying to get answers to questions about restarting work with school children from the Department for Education and asking the Treasury to consider childminders as a special case when considering the vulnerability of our work and the likelihood of repeated forced closures due to the ‘test and trace’ system.
We are also aware that, while the funding for the current term has been paid to providers, you are still waiting for guidance on funding payments for the autumn term, especially in relation to enforced closures due to ‘test and trace’ and parent uncertainty about whether to return their children to childcare and the lack of clear guidance on children attending 2 settings. We will continue to ask for more clarity on this so you can start to budget from September.
Childcare.co.uk will continue to listen to childminder concerns and lobby for support for our childminder members.
Note: if you are unsure about any aspect of financial planning, you should consult an independent accountant.
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