The Government has announced that working parents of children who will be aged under four on 31 August 2017, can now apply through the new digital childcare service for Tax-Free Childcare. Under the scheme, parents receive a Government top-up of £2 for every £8 they pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account.
To use Tax-Free Childcare, parents must open a Government Gateway account, if they don't have one already.
The scheme, which is open to working parents of children under the age of 12, or under 17 for disabled children, will be rolled out throughout the year, with all eligible parents able to benefit from Tax-Free Childcare by the end of 2017.
Last month, HMRC told Nursery World that more than 20,000 childcare providers had signed up to Tax-Free Childcare, and it was sending out reminders to all registered providers who were yet to sign up.
As of today (24 April), parents of two- to three-year-olds, who will be eligible for the 30 hours in September, can also apply for a place through the childcare service and with a childcare provider offering the free hours.
The announcement follows the launch of the Government's Childcare Choices website last month, which sets out all current and upcoming Government childcare offers and support available to parents. Included on the website is a Childcare Calculator for parents to compare all offers and support available to them and what works best for their family.
- To apply for Tax-Free Childcare or the 30 hours click here