The government has today announced a package of extra childcare support for families, including increasing tax-free childcare, introducing a £50m early years pupil premium and covering 85% of childcare costs for 300,000 of the most disadvantaged families.
The new tax-free childcare scheme will be increased to £2,000 per child and extended to all children under 12 within the first year.
This new childcare package will benefit almost 2 million families and will help parents to go out to work if they want to and provide more security for their families, while directing extra support to those children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The government will provide 20% support on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year for each child via a new simple online system. The limit had previously been set at £6,000. This now means support of up to £2,000 per child per year.
The scheme will be introduced much more quickly than previously announced with all working parents covered within the first year from autumn 2015. Previously children under 12 would have gradually qualified for the scheme over a 7-year period.
The government has released a list of top 10 things parents should know about tax-free childcare. You can view that here
Early Years Pupil Premium
A new Early Years Pupil Premium will be introduced to help ensure children get the best possible start in life. £50 million will be invested in 2015 to 2016 giving early years providers more support to help those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. This will help providers employ more highly qualified staff, for example, or to increase access to services such as speech and language specialists.
85% of childcare costs to be met under Universal Credit
To help more families move off of benefits and into employment, the government intends to cover 85% of the cost of childcare for all families receiving Universal Credit, which would be around 300,000 families.