8th July, 2018, Alex Salmon
The calm has passed and the storm has begun again.
Yes fellow parents, I’m talking about the end of half term and the beginning of the dreaded school and nursery run.
Every morning feels like Groundhog Day.
Half eaten breakfast stamped into the kitchen floor, toothpaste strewn across the bathroom mirrors, lost socks - the list is endless.
And then there is the leaving of the house. Shoes that were by the front door have now miraculously disappeared and let’s not forget the mad dash for a toy that they absolutely must take with them, but hasn’t seen the light of day for at least six months.
For all parents this process can be quite a challenge, especially when you chuck in packed lunches, dressing up days and school trips.
As a working parent, I really appreciate the support we have from grandparents on both sides of the family, while my fiancée and I work – and I know that we are very fortunate.
But I do wonder if all employed parents, and indeed grandparents, realise the benefits they could be missing out on.
Under new legislation, if a grandparent gives up their career to look after a grandchild while the parent returns to work, they could add up to £230 a year to the state pension they receive in retirement.
As an accountant I often wonder if this information is resonating with the right people, especially as there are also changes taking place under tax-free childcare.
The government’s new tax-free childcare scheme (TFC) is now open to all eligible families and replaces the Employer-Supported Childcare (ESC).
The new scheme allows all employed and self-employed parents in the UK access to tax-free childcare, which is a complete turnaround from the old system, which was only available to employees.
An online account can be opened and when a parent pays into it, the government will pay an extra 25pc.
So in the midst of being pelted with cereal and the stress and guilt that every working parent has, take comfort in the small little gains that can be achieved while you dash out of the house with two odd shoes on…..