Apply for Tax-Free Childcare as it is rolled out to all eligible parents by the end of the year.
Tax-Free Childcare is a new scheme from the Government. It offers extra financial help to working parents across the UK. Parents of children born on or after 1st April 2013, and parents of disabled children, can apply now. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017.
What is Tax-Free Childcare?
If you’re a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child – that’s up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child – that’s up to £1,000 every three months.
You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £120 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.
If either you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more, you can’t get Tax-Free Childcare. You can’t use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits.
You can use it to help pay registered:
- Childminders, nurseries and nannies
- After-school clubs and playschemes
- Home care workers working for a registered home care agency
That info comes from Childcare Choices, it is UK Government’s site for info on childcare schemes. As such, most of the info is about schemes that are England only. If you want info on childcare in Wales, contact your local Family Information Service. However, Tax-Free Childcare is a UK-wide programme. Also on Childcare Choices, you’ll find an email alert service for when Tax-Free Childcare will be rolled out to where you live and for older children.
What happens next?
Information of when, where and how quickly this scheme will be rolled is kind of tricky to find. Your best bet is to sign up to the email alerts and contact your local Family Information Service. Additionally Talk2Us, the charity set up fight UK poverty, has more info on Tax-Free Childcare. Finally Money Saving Expert has a guide with lots of examples and scenarios.
If you feel you need to talk to someone about this issue or any other problems your family is having then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.