The Government are introducing two new Childcare schemes within 2017; Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare. Through a single online application service called The Childcare Service you can apply for either or both of these schemes, .
There are differing criteria for each scheme, and while the two new schemes can be used alongside each other, there are certain other schemes or benefits which they are not compatible with. To qualify for the schemes, both parents must be in work and earning on average, at least £115 per week but not more than £100,000 per year.
This scheme works by utilising a childcare account. Provided you qualify for the scheme a childcare account will be set-up for you and for every £8 you pay into the account the government will pay an additional £2 on top. The total top-up amount per child is upto £2,000 per year.
You cannot sign up for Tax-Free Childcare if you are using childcare vouchers, or in receipt of Universal Credit or tax credits.
In order to pay your childcare provider using your childcare account your provider must also be registered within the scheme.
30 Hours Free Childcare
From September 2017, working parents of 3-4 year olds may be entitled to an extra 15 hours of free childcare per week. Every 3-4 year old in England is already entitled to 15hrs a week, however under this new scheme the total hours can be extended to 30hrs per week.