News: Don’t miss out! Parents offered up to £2,000 help with childcare this summer

News: Don’t miss out! Parents offered up to £2,000 help with childcare this summer

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

With the school summer holidays looming, thousands of parents will be facing extra childcare costs.

Save the Children estimates working parents spend an average of £800 on childcare during August alone.

And the exorbitant cost can drive many into debt.

But there is help out there if you know where to look, report the Mirror.

Across the country, more than 68,000 childcare providers have signed up to the Government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme, which is designed to help working parents by adding an extra 20% to the amount they pay out.

Childcare could be about to get a lot easier
Childcare costs can be extortionate over the summer
(Image: Getty)

And even though the school summer holidays in Lincolnshire set to start on Friday July 19, the good news is that it only takes seven days to apply through the Childcare Choices website.

Anyone who is successful can then open an account and will receive an extra £2 for every £8 they spend on childcare over the year.

 

Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “We understand making arrangements for summer childcare at this time of year is important and can be a stressful time for parents.

“Tax-Free Childcare makes things easier, putting more money in the pockets of parents and supporting as many families as possible to secure high-quality, affordable childcare.

“Parents should visit the Childcare Choices website and take advantage of the range of offers to help balance their work and family lives while saving money.”

Childcare can be expensive
Childcare can be expensive
(Image: Getty)

According to the Government’s Work and Pensions Committee, families are at greater risk of poverty over the school holidays – when benefits such as childcare and free school meals are stripped.

Charity Save the Children estimates that working parents will spend an average of £800 on childcare this August, driving many into debt.

 

What is Tax Free Childcare?

It’s a Government scheme to help working parents pay for childcare.

To use it, apply online  to open an account. If successful, you can then use it to pay money in for your childcare provider.

For every £8 paid in by parents, the Government will add an extra £2 – up to a maximum of £2,000 per child a year or £4,000 for disabled children.

30 free hours of childcare is available
30 free hours of childcare is available

Who is eligible?

Working parents, including those who are self-employed, and earn from £100,000 a year and the minimum wage and have children aged 0-11 years old are eligible.

The upper age limit is extended to 17 for young people with a disability. 

 

And once school starts again in September, the money can be put towards a number of different types of childcare including before and after school clubs.

All you’ll need to once you’re registered is sign back to your account every three months to confirm your details are up-to-date.

You can find out more and apply through the  Childcare Choices website.

Free childcare, but what's the cost?
Free childcare, but what’s the cost?

How to apply for Tax Free Childcare

Parents who want to work out what they might be entitled to can use the  Government’s childcare calculator.

To apply, you’ll need your details and, if relevant, your partner’s, including your national insurance number and unique taxpayer reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed.

It only takes around 20 minutes to make an application and you’ll find out if your application has been successful within seven days.



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