National News

Tax-Free Childcare opens to all eligible families

Tax-Free Childcare opens to all remaining eligible families today (14th February) – parents whose youngest child is under 12.

The new scheme helps working parents with the cost of childcare.

It’s quick and easy to apply, and parents could save thousands of pounds each year. For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year. HM Revenue and Customs has been gradually rolling out Tax-Free Childcare since April 2017.

The money can go towards a whole range of regulated childcare, including nurseries, childminders, after-school clubs and holiday clubs.

Parents, including the self-employed, can apply online for Tax-Free Childcare by visiting Childcare Choices. Parents can also access the government’s childcare calculator through Childcare Choices, which helps parents to choose which government support is best for them.

Nicole, a mum of twins from Greater London, who uses Tax-Free Childcare, said “I was concerned about the cost of childcare, because I don’t get any other support, and I’m a single mum with 15-month-old twins. Tax-Free Childcare has taken a big burden off my shoulders

“It’s massively helped me: the extra money makes a huge difference, and I find the system really easy to use. It allows me to comfortably work full time, knowing that my children are being well looked after.”

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 opening the service, through which parents can apply for both Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, more than 340,000 families have successfully applied. Of these, more than 190,000 have a Tax-Free Childcare account.

The childcare service builds on the childcare support already available to thousands of families, including:

  • 15 hours free childcare for families in England
  • enhanced childcare support through Universal Credit
  • tax credits for childcare

What’s Tax-Free childcare like?