With the cost of living constantly on the rise, managing childcare expenses can be difficult for working families. Help is available in the form of the government’s Tax-Free Childcare Scheme.

Under the scheme, eligible parents can open a Tax-Free Childcare account via the government website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-tax-free-childcare. Once the account is opened parents can deposit money into it regularly. For every £8 deposited, the government contributes an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year. The funds in the account can then be used to pay for approved childcare such as: nursery, childminder, after-school and holiday club costs.

To be eligible a family has to:

  • Have a child aged 11 or under, or 16 and under if they have a disability
  • Be earning at least the National Minimum Wage for 16 hours a week, on average
  • Each earn no more than £100,000 a year
  • Not be claiming Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers
  • Be living in the UK and have the right to work in the country

It’s also worth remembering that all 3 and 4-year-old children are entitled to 15 hours a week for free early education and childcare, for up to 38 weeks a year. For eligible working parents, this support is being expanded in three phases:

  • From April 2024, parents of 2-year-olds will have access to 15 hours of childcare support
  • From September 2024 the 15 hours childcare support will be available for children aged from 9-months-old to 3-years-old
  • From September 2025, up to 30 hours of childcare support will be available for children from 9-months-old up to the age of 5.

We’ll continue to keep you up-dated as the new schemes come online.