As of the 14tth February, Tax-Free Childcare is open to all families whose youngest child is under 12.

The scheme was introduced by the Government last April to help working parents with the cost of childcare. For every 80p that parents spend, the Government contributes an additional 20p. This is the equivalent of the 20% tax that many people pay on their earnings.

Working parents can claim a maximum contribution of £2,000 per child per year or £4,000 a year for a disabled child up to the age of 17.

Families must pay into a special account to access the scheme. This money can then be used to pay up to 10 regulated childcare providers including nurseries, childminders, playgroups, after school and holiday clubs.

Tax-Free Childcare can be accessed by working parents whether they are employed or self-employed. The money can be used for advance payments, block bookings or individual sessions with regulated childcare providers.

Parents can start paying their childcare provider using the contribution as soon as they have opened an account on the Government’s website, Childcare Choices.

Elizabeth Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“Tax-Free Childcare will cut thousands of pounds from childcare bills and is good news for working parents.

“More parents will be able to work if they want to and this demonstrates our commitment to helping families with the cost of living.

“All eligible parents with children under 12 can now apply through Childcare Choices and should take advantage of the available support.”

Since launching the service, more than 190,000 families have opened a Tax-Free Childcare account.

Once parents start using the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, they will need to reconfirm their eligibility every 3 months. Parents can apply for the scheme, as well as 30 hours funded childcare, via the Childcare Choices website.

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