Through Tax-Free Childcare, families can receive up to £2000 a year per child – or £4000 if their child is disabled – to put towards the cost of childcare. And it is available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability. The money can help towards the cost of holiday clubs, before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, and other approved childcare schemes.
The UK Government will pay 20 per cent of childcare costs by topping up the money paid into a Tax-Free Childcare account. This means for every £8 paid into the online account, families will automatically receive an additional £2 in government top-up.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is urging those eligible to apply for support.
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More than 22,700 families in Scotland used Tax-Free Childcare in March 2022 – the highest number of families recorded using the scheme since it was launched in April 2017 – but thousands more could be missing out. Research published earlier this year by HMRC estimated that about 1.3 million families could be eligible for this UK Government support.
Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Tax-Free Childcare can make a big difference to families, helping with the bills for things like holiday clubs, nurseries, childminders and after school clubs. It’s easy to register – search ‘Tax-Free Childcare’ on GOV.UK.”
For thousands of families who use Tax-Free Childcare, the money they save each month on their childcare costs is money that goes back into their pockets. Accounts can be opened at any time of the year and can be used straight away, and money can be deposited at any time and used when needed. Any unused money that is deposited can be simply withdrawn at any time.
More than one million families in the UK are entitled to some form of UK Government childcare support and the government is encouraging those eligible to not miss out on their entitlements. Families can find out what childcare support is best for them via Childcare Choices.