Tax-free childcare…even during the school holidays!!
I recently discovered a new Tax-Free Childcare Scheme and I think you’ll want to know about it
The scheme launched last year and can be used for holiday care (even for school-aged kids), not just regular childcare.
It takes about 20 minutes to apply online. You’ll need your and your partner’s details (if you have one) including National Insurance Number and UTR if you are self-employed.
How it works
You can find more information online but the basic idea is, you put money into your Tax-Free Childcare Account and then pay your childcare providers directly, once the funds show as ‘available’. For every £0.80p you put into your account, the Government adds another £0.20p, so you effectively save 20% of your total childcare bill.
You can use this scheme even if you are already making use of the 30 hours free childcare, as you can be eligible for both.
Most childcare providers will be covered by the scheme, as long as they are registered with one of the listed regulators, including Ofsted, the Early Years Register or the Childcare Register. You’ll find a list of local childcare providers who are registered once you log onto your account.
The main difference between this scheme and Childcare Vouchers is you don’t need to go through your employer. You can apply directly online. Also, the funds will be available within a few hours and will take up to 3 working days to show on your childcare provider’s account.
However, before you apply, check you are eligible and please note you cannot use this scheme in conjunction with other similar schemes and support, such as Universal Credit or Childcare Vouchers. Other schemes may stop immediately once your application is successful. You can work out the best scheme for you here.