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Five ways to save money on summer childcare costs

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The summer holidays are around the corner, which means millions of parents will desperately be trying to figure out their childcare plans for the six weeks - while hoping not to break the bank at the same time.

If you’re looking for ways to keep your childcare bill down, here are our top five suggestions…

Book now

When it comes to clubs and camps, it pays to book early. A lot of companies offer early bird discounts if you sign up weeks in advance. Plus, there’s the added advantage of no last-minute stressing. Look out for sibling discounts too.

Use Tax-Free Childcare

Tax-Free Childcare is a childcare top-up for working parents and can be used to help pay for accredited holiday clubs, childminders or sports activities. For every £8 deposited into an account, families will receive an additional £2 in government top-up, capped at £500 every three months, or £1,000 if the child is disabled.

Request flexible working

You have the legal right to request flexible working as long as you’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. For some parents, term time working is the only manageable solution. Others work from home to keep an eye on older children, and others ask for flexibility over their hours to at least cut down how much care they need to pay for.

Consider an au pair

There are plenty of au pairs looking for summer holiday placements, for the cost of room and board and £75 pocket money a week. This can be particularly cost-effective if you have several children to look after.

Tap the parent network

Ask local families what they do. You’ll be surprised at the hidden gems they turn up, from church clubs to sessions at the local sports centre, or training with local sports teams. Ask at school too: they may well run an affordable holiday club, or know about local schools with something on offer.

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