Did you know there is a government scheme available that can help contribute towards childcare costs? This may mean fewer of your employees will need time off at the same time this summer.
Tax-Free Childcare is a scheme available to working parents with children from 0-11 years. Unfortunately many parents aren’t taking advantage of the scheme, only 250,000 families of the 1.5 million who are eligible. HMRC would welcome help from employers in changing that, so please tell your employees about how they can reduce their childcare costs. The scheme is also open to self-employed parents who have not previously been able to to take advantage of Government Tax Free childcare scheme. It is also important to note that it can be used at the same time as the 15 & 30 hours free childcare schemes.
Eligible parents can get up to £2,000 per child, per year to spend on qualifying childcare (effectively a 25% top up).If you have a child who has a disability then you can receive up to £4000 a year. Note that Tax-Free Childcare isn’t just for childminders and nurseries, parents can also use it to pay towards:
• after school clubs
• summer camps
• school holiday activities
How does Tax-Free Childcare work?
Firstly, you would need to make sure your childcare provider, Summer Camp Holiday Club etc. is registered with Tax Free Childcare. If this is the case then you would need to open an online account.
For every £8 you put into the account, the government adds £2. You would then pay your childcare provider through your centralised government account instead of your usual bank account.
Am I eligible?
- Your child/children must be under 12 years of age or under 17 years of age if they have a disability.
- All parents must be in work and each earn at least £131 per week. However, if you are on parental leave you could still be eligible for Tax Free childcare. This also goes for having a disability that prevents you from working or being a carer.
- There is also a maximum income cutoff of £100,000 for the individual earnings of each parent.
- Tax Free Childcare is not available to people who use Universal Credit, Tax Credits or are still part of the Childcare Voucher scheme. Please note the Voucher scheme is now closed to new entrants.
Visit Gov.uk to find out whether you can receive Government help with childcare costs.
Visit Money Saving Expert for help understanding the different schemes available including pros and cons and which scheme might be best for you and your family.
Apply for a childcare account here. Please note you will need your National Insurance Number and if you are self employed you will need your UTR.