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Over a million people are missing out on government childcare support, are you?

Category: Working Paremts

The Government’s Tax-Free Childcare Scheme offers parents up to £500 every three months per child to help with the costs of childcare. This is paid via an online childcare account that you set up and is credited with £2 for every £8 you pay your childcare provider

Take-up of the scheme, perhaps because of the online account, has been surprisingly low. Data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) which show the government paid out just £32 million for tax-free childcare in the 2017-18 tax year —they expected to pay £390m million. Their figures say just 91,000 families of the 1.5m eligible had signed up.

Government childcare support

For each 80p a family pays into their online government childcare account, the government adds 20p – equivalent to basic rate tax, meaning that parents can potentially receive £2,000 per year per child towards their childcare costs, which is a massive boost when looking at the expense of childcare”.

Parents can receive tax free assistance on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year and parents with children aged 11 or under are entitled to claim this tax relief, with parents of disabled children able to claim up to £4000 per year until the child turns 17.

Parents can use their online childcare funds on approved childcare to suit their needs with school breakfast and afterschool clubs being authorised along with registered nurseries and childminders. They are eligible to claim the tax relief as long as they are in work, or on approved leave, and earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for at least 16 hours a week.

How to apply

  • Check if you're eligible for Tax-Free Childcare.
  • Check if you'll be better off. If you claim Tax-Free Childcare then any tax credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers you have received will stop.
  • Apply for Tax-Free Childcare with one online application for Tax-Free Childcare and/or 30 hours free childcare.
  • Sign in to your account to pay your childcare provider
  • Sign in to your childcare account and reconfirm your details every three months.

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