One of the main difficulties many families face in trying to make ends meet is the rising cost of childcare. The Government is currently consulting on a new scheme to help families with these costs which would save a typical working family with two children under 12 up to £2,400 per year when fully implemented.
• The new scheme will cover 20% - equivalent to the basic rate of tax - of working families’ childcare costs up to a limit of £6,000 per year per child, i.e. £1,200
• In the first year of the scheme, starting in autumn 2015, children born in or after September 2010 will be eligible (i.e. under five and younger five year-olds). This will increase to 6 in the second year and so on until children under 12 are eligible. Once the scheme has been fully phased in, eligibility will end in the September following the child’s 11th birthday.
• To be eligible for the scheme, families will have all parents in work, with each earning less than £150,000 per year, and will not already receive support through tax credits (or Universal Credit in the future) or the current Employer Supported Childcare scheme.
• The scheme will be run through online voucher accounts.
This tax-free childcare will be worth up to £1,200 per child per year. Once fully up and running, the scheme will be available to up to 2.5 million families and will save a typical working family with two children under 12 up to £2,400 per year.
With the average cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two now being over £5,000 per year, this saving couldn’t come at a more crucial time for my constituents so I urge as many people as possible to feedback on the plans to ensure that they happen.
More information about the plans is available here, and you can give your views herev.