News story

Reduce school holidays stress with help for childcare costs

Parents are urged to make the most of government support for childcare costs this summer.


Almost a third of British parents feel stressed trying to arrange childcare for the school holidays according to a new YouGov poll out today.

The poll for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) also found that a third of British parents worried about balancing work and school holiday childcare.

But to help with summer childcare, working parents are being reminded they can use Tax-Free Childcare, which is worth up to £2,000 per child per year, to pay for regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays.

With Tax-Free Childcare, for every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account the government pays in £2. The offer is available throughout the UK, to working parents including the self-employed with children aged under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children).

More than 58,000 registered childcare providers from across the UK have signed up to receive Tax-Free Childcare payments, including hundreds of schools, football, art and tennis clubs. Parents that pay into their childcare account regularly can ‘save up’ to pay for childcare during school holidays if they choose. The money can go towards a whole range of registered childcare including nurseries, childminders, before and after school clubs, or holiday clubs.

Parents can apply for Tax-Free Childcare, and 30 hours free childcare in England, at the same time. Tax-Free Childcare can be used alongside 30 hours to help pay for additional childcare. Parents are encouraged to apply for 30 hours as soon as possible, in time for next term.

Parents can find out what government help is available and apply online by visiting the Childcare Choices website. It includes an online childcare calculator that compares the government’s childcare offers to check what works best for individual families.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

Sorting out childcare over school holidays can feel like another chore for working parents. But the government has financial help available to cut the stress and bills for parents.

To demonstrate our commitment, in 2019/20 the government will spend around £6 billion on childcare support – a record amount.

Our message to eligible families across the UK is take a look at the Childcare Choices website and see how you can save on your childcare costs.

Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, added:

We are spending more than any other government on childcare because we want every child to get the best start in life.

We are supporting as many families as possible with access to high-quality, affordable childcare helping to put more money in their pockets and balancing work and family lives.

For more information can be found here.

Published 26 June 2018