Paying for Childcare

Become a Childminder

Childminding Fees

Money is one of the most difficult areas of childcare. NICMA publishes annual childminder charges for its childminding members but these are recommendations only and can differ throughout the province. This guide covers all aspects of the childminders service including holiday pay, overtime rates, sick pay etc. If your childminder is a member of NICMA they will be happy to go through these charges when negotiating the terms of the childminding arrangement.

In 2022/23, Childminding charges [for NICMA members] suggest a minimum hourly for full time childcare of £5 per hour per child. Part time places may be charged at an enhanced hourly rate. This does not take into account regional variations.

As Childminders are self-employed childcarers, they can set their own terms and conditions and therefore the suggested charges are a guideline only.

For further information on childminding fees, contact NICMA on 028 9181 1015.

Do not be afraid to ask about money, and about any extras which might be charged for. It is not just the hourly or weekly fee that you need to take into account. You will also need to ask about any sickness or holiday payments, overtime rates or extra charges for food and outings. Ask when the childminder increases her charges. NICMA’s recommended rates are revised annually. Remember that a childminder’s fee has to cover many things: toys and equipment, safety items, heating and lighting, wear and tear, NICMA membership, core training and, of course, her own self-employed wage.

NICMA strongly recommend the use of a contract which provides a safeguard for both parent and Childminder. NICMA childminders are provided with Contract Guidance notes which should be shared and discussed with the parent.

Childcare Tax Credits

If you are eligible, you might be able to qualify for the childcare element of Working Tax Credit. You need to be using registered or approved childcare but, if you are, the childcare element can help with up to 70 per cent of your eligible childcare costs up to a set limit.

Only registered childcare is eligible for the tax credit.

How much of the Childcare element of the Working Tax Credit you are entitled to depends on how much you earn and how many hours you work. So it is worth calling HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3300 or visit for help and to apply on-line.

You cannot claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credit if the childcare you are using is provided by a relative of the child.

A relative of the child means a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister whether by blood, half-blood, marriage or affinity.

The exception to this is when your child is cared for by a relative who is either:

  • A registered childminder who cares for your child outside of your child's own home
  • An approved home childcarer employed by you and working in your home

For further information on Child Tax Credits, download the document below…

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit

Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers offer a flexible and easy way to help working parents save on registered childcare costs and afford quality childcare. They can be used to pay for all forms of registered childcare, including registered childminding. For more infomation download the document below…

Childcare Voucher

Employers for Childcare offer a Family Benefits Advice Service to help parents find out what benefits and entitlements are available to them.

For more information visit


Tax Free Childcare

The Government has introduced Tax-Free Childcare, this means that working parents of children, who will be aged under 4 on 31 August 2017, can now apply through the new digital childcare service for Tax-Free Childcare and receive a government top-up of £2 for every £8 that they pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account. For more information download the document below..