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Childcare support: Your stories

Parents on low incomes who are working less than 16 hours a week will be eligible for childcare support from 2013, under new government plans.

Ministers say scrapping the minimum working hours limit for childcare support will benefit 80,000 families.

You have been telling us how these proposals may affect you. Here are some of your stories.

James Steel from London

"Since the government lowered the threshold of child and working tax credits, my partner and I have had to find an extra £80 a week to cover our childcare costs. It is impossible to make ends meet.

My partner works for a council and she will not be getting any pay rises for the foreseeable future. We use the childcare voucher scheme, but that still doesn't provide enough help.

My wages just cover the costs of our childcare. We have to pay all our bills and mortgage out of my partner's wages. Prices are rising and we are trying to be as thrifty as possible.

David Cameron doesn't realise what he is doing to people like us, he is driving us into poverty.

At the moment I am considering giving up work as my partner is on the higher wage. If I did, I've been told by tax credits that we would get 80% of the childcare paid for.

It annoys me because I am a Conservative voter, who believed in the family, who believed in Cameron.

At the moment, I feel like we have been stabbed in the back."

Emma Doble from Cornwall

"Yet again it is the people on benefits who get the most help, this is infuriating!

My husband and I have a modest joint income, which includes overtime work I do as a solicitor.

We fall outside the realms of any help with childcare and get just £40 per month tax credits as I have been on statutory maternity pay this year.

I have returned to work now my baby is six-months-old. I am the main earner and have no choice but to return to work in order to pay our mortgage.

We also have a five-year-old, so our nursery costs will be over £400 per month and we really are struggling.

I have not returned to work because I love my job or because I am a 'career woman' but to keep our house and to repay my 10-year-old student debt!

It feels as if we are penalised because we work! Sometimes we really feel we would be better off in a council house having as many children as we want knowing that the state will pay for it."

Helen Cotgreave, from Cheshire

"I am a married working mum of a three-year-old boy. I have always worked or been in higher education and earn less than the national average yearly wage.

I am the only earner in my family and my husband stays at home to look after our little boy since he was made redundant in 2008 (and can not claim any benefits for being out of work).

We can't afford to both work as the childcare costs would cripple us and at the moment we are waiting for my working tax credit to be re-instated after it was stopped in error.

We have been waiting for over six weeks now and may have to wait another four weeks resulting in three missed payments when money is already very tight.

If this carries on I may have to review if I can afford to work or not as I can barely afford to pay for food and public transport to and from work."

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