A quick boost for your childcare budget. If you or someone in your family pays for childcare, there is a chance you're missing out on a significant government entitlement.
There are tax credits available which cover some childcare payouts but, as many of the people eligible aren't the usual benefit candidates, they don't know about it, don't apply and therefore miss out. I've developed an easy rule of thumb for who should be checking it out. The average payout on childcare tax credit (technically, the childcare element of the working tax credit) is £65 a week, so it's well worth having. If you are a single parent and work more than 16 hours a week (or are a couple, both working more than 16 hours a week), and are paying for childcare at a registered childminder, nursery or day-care centre, and your combined family earnings are under £40,000 a year, then it's worth checking out through the tax-credit hotline (0845 300 3900). There could be big money waiting for you.