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WATCH: Cornwall parents can now get tax-free childcare

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:32am 14th February 2018 (Updated 8:28am 14th February 2018)

Tax-free childcare for kids under 12 has opened up to parents in Cornwall.

From Wednesday, thousands of families in the south-west can now apply for up to £2,000 of support.

That is per child, per year and it can be used for stuff like nurseries, after school and holiday clubs.

Around 190,000 working families in the south-west with children under 12 are eligible to apply.

Mums and dads, including the self-employed, can do just that by visiting Childcare Choices.

Can I Apply?

  • Working parents can apply, through the childcare service, to open an online childcare account.
  • For every £8 that families pay in, the Government will make a top-up payment of an additional £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children). This top up is added instantly and parents can then send electronic payments directly to their childcare providers. The maximum government top-up is £500 per quarter for each child.
  • All registered childcare providers – whether nannies, nurseries, childminders or after school clubs – can sign up online now to receive parents’ payments through Tax-Free Childcare. 
  • Parents need to sign back in every three months and confirm their details are up to date, to keep getting Government top-ups.

Useful Information:

Tax-Free Childcare is replacing Employer-Supported Childcare, including ‘childcare vouchers’, which is only available to parents if their employer offers it.

Employer-Supported Childcare will be closing to new entrants from April 2018, but parents who are already a member of the scheme will be able to remain in it as long as their employer continues to offer it.

The tax and National Insurance exemption for workplace nurseries will remain in place.

Parents moving from Employer-Supported Childcare to Tax-Free Childcare can still use childcare vouchers they’ve previously accrued.

Parents can also access the government’s childcare calculator through Childcare Choices, which helps parents to choose which government childcare support is best for them. The support is worth up to £4,000 for disabled children.

More than 190,000 parents across the UK have successfully applied and now have a Tax-Free Childcare account they can use to pay for a wide range of regulated childcare, including nurseries, childminders, after school or holiday clubs.

For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account the government will add an extra £2.

Once eligible parents have opened their new account they can start paying their childcare provider straightaway, using the government contribution.

Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Tax-Free Childcare will cut thousands of pounds from childcare bills and is good news for working parents.

“More parents will be able to work if they want to and this demonstrates our commitment to helping families with the cost of living.

“All eligible parents with children under 12 can now apply through Childcare Choices and should take advantage of the available support".

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