Making childcare more affordable for working parents

The UK government has recognised the importance of providing affordable childcare for working families. Childcare costs can be a significant burden on families, and these schemes are aimed to make childcare more accessible and affordable. Here’s a breakdown of the current options:

Free Childcare Hours:

This is a big one that most working families are so happy about! The government is expanding free childcare scheme in England over the next couple of years. 

From September 2024, eligible working parents of children over 9 months old will be entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week. This expands further in September 2025, with 30 hours of free childcare per week per child.

This staged rollout is to ensure enough childcare providers are available. 

Who is eligible for free childcare hours?

Over the next 3 months you and your partner (if you have one) must each expect to earn at least:

You must expect to earn these amounts from the date you apply for the free childcare hours, you don’t need to be earning these amounts already. 

Find out if you’re eligible here.

Tax-Free Childcare:

This scheme offers financial support towards childcare costs if you aren’t eligible for free hours, or need to pay for extra hours. For every £8 you pay into a government-backed childcare account, the government will top up £2.

This amounts to up to £2,000 per year for each child (or £4,000 for disabled children). Tax-Free Childcare can be used alongside the free childcare hours if you’re eligible for both. 

Find out more about this scheme here.

Both of the above schemes apply to registered childcare providers like childminders, nurseries and playschemes. The free childcare hours are available for 38 weeks per year (typically during school terms). However, some childcare providers may allow you to stretch these throughout more weeks of the year to help cover school holidays. 

Turas Accountants no longer just provide accountancy for our clients. We are regularly involved in putting together bespoke packages of support and advice to help them grow and develop their businesses.

We have also spent time and effort over the last ten years developing training packages for all our staff and reaching out to sponsor and support community projects.

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