Government launches expanded childcare support for working parents
There will be two new government schemes which will be rolled out in 2017 – 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare.
30 hours free childcare
From September 2017, 30 hours childcare will be available for three and four year olds of working parents. This doubles the existing 15 hours currently available and could save working families up to £5,000 a year.
To be eligible parents must be in work, including self-employment and zero hours contracts and each must be earning the equivalent of 16hrs National Minimum or Living wage a week and neither parent earning more than £100,000 per year.
If a partner is on maternity, paternity or adoption leave or they are unable to work because they are disabled or have caring responsibilities, they may also be eligible.
Working parents should apply now for the Autumn Term
Parents are strongly advised to apply as soon as possible to receive their 30hour eligibility code before August 31st to ensure their eligibility before the September 2017 start.
They should apply for and receive their eligibility code by December 31st should they wish to start in the Spring term 2018.
Tax-Free Childcare will replace childcare vouchers, which will close to new entrants from April 2018.
Eligible parents with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children) will be able to set up an online childcare account to pay their childcare providers directly. For every £8 parents pay in, the government will add £2, up to a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child, per year (£4,000 per year for disabled children).
Parents can apply for the Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as applying for 30 hours childcare, the eligibility requirements are the same. Using the Childcare Checker, parents can find out which providers have signed up to receive Tax-Free Childcare in their area.
Childcare Choices-One stop website
For the first time, all the government provided childcare offers are going to be bought together through Childcare Choices. But what is Childcare Choices?
Basically, it is a one-stop shop for parents providing all the information about the government’s childcare support in one place. The new website will make it easier to find out what’s on offer with minimum fuss and the calculator allows parents to see what different offers are available to them and to choose what works best for their family. The website has links to apply for 30hrs Childcare and Tax Free Childcare.
For more details go to www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
A Customer Interaction Centre is also available to apply by telephone or for queries on 30hr Childcare and Tax Free Childcare: Tel 030 0123 4097