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How You Can Get Up to £2,000 for Child Care

February 14, 2018, 12:00 PM
  • Government scheme open to all parents with children under 12
  • Working families could receive £2,000 extra towards child care
  • Known as ‘Tax-Free’ child care
Working parents with children under 12 can save with the new scheme. Image: Getty

All working parents with children under 12 will be able to receive up to £2,000 a year to go towards the cost of child care, HMRC has confirmed.

It’s rolling out at a time when an estimated 450,000 women aren’t going back to work after having a child, as the cost of childcare has got too high.

The initiative, which was announced last April, will allow parents to save on the cost of child care, as the government will contribute towards costs.

The scheme should also help parents who are working part-time and facing a ‘pay-penalty’ for doing so.

How Can You Get It?

  • Go to Government website
  • See if you're eligible (earn at least £120 a week)
  • Open an account
  • Pay in £8 and the Government gives you an extra £2
  • Get up to £2,000 from the Government

Working parents can access it by opening up an account online.

Once the account is open, you can put money in and it will be topped up by government contributions.

You get an extra £2 for every £8 paid in. The Government is calling this scheme "Tax-Free Childcare" and it is separate to "30 Hours Free Childcare".

A similar scheme to this existed before, but it was capped at the age of nine.

As of Wednesday 14th February, it is available to all under-12s, a moved that the Government claims will save families up to £2,000 a year.

HMRC said that 190,000 parents have already signed up to the scheme since it was launched in April 2017.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said, “Tax-free childcare will cut thousands of pounds from childcare bills, and this is good news for working parents.

“More parents will be able to work if they want to, and this demonstrates our commitment to helping families with the cost of living.”

Does The Scheme Work?

Families that have already used the system have had very positive responses from it.

One mum, Nicole, said, “I was concerned about the cost of child care, because I don’t get any other support, and I’m a single mum with 15-month old twins.

“The extra money makes a huge difference, and I find the system really easy to use.

“It allows me to comfortably work full time, knowing that my children are being well looked after.”

However, when first introduced to families in April last year, many parents reported problems with it.

Some were locked out of their online account, and others were unable to access the money that they had put in to the account.

In November, the scheme was suspended so that all technical issues could be resolved, and today marks the reopening of the site, as well as it being extended to families with children under 12.

HMRC said, “We made significant improvements to the child care service after some parents experiences issues, and we continue to implement technical updates to further improve the customer experience.”

What do you think? Have you had any experiences with this? Share your thoughts in the comments below and start the discussion!

Angemalaover a year ago

Thanks! Every penny counts and we really need this! ❤️

LisaConveryover a year ago

Can you do this if you are already on a Salary sacrifice scheme?

GinaCampbellover a year ago

No, unfortunately it’s either or

AgnesFaludiover a year ago

This is not affordable in London. I counted everything and if I put my daughter in nursery for full time...I will end up with £300 a month after the big help of 2pounds.

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