Today (5 June 2014) the government has introduced the Childcare Payments Bill, which aims to help working families by giving basic rate tax relief on childcare of up to £2,000 per year for each child.
The Bill would build on the £5 billion per year the government already spends on early education and childcare and provide 1.9 million working families with 20% of their childcare costs.
The scheme would be available from autumn 2015, and cover children up to the age of 12, as well as disabled children up to the age of 17. The scheme would be available to working families where all parents in a household are in work and earn less than £150,000 a year, and do not receive support through Tax Credits or Universal Credit. For the first time, government support for childcare would be available to parents who are self employed, and to those who work for smaller firms that did not previously offer Employer-Supported Childcare.
Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women, Nicky Morgan, said,
Today marks the first step in bringing forward Tax-Free Childcare. This will provide support for up to 1.9 million hard working families.
As a working mother, I understand how difficult the choices are that working parents have to make. Nearly a quarter of employed mothers would increase their hours if they could arrange convenient, and affordable childcare, and this scheme will give parents the opportunity to return to work, should they choose to do so.