Date announced for the launch of tax-free childcare

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening. Picture by Richard Ponter
Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening. Picture by Richard Ponter

Millions of parents can pre-register from today for the Government’s new childcare offers, with around 90,000 families in the North East set to be eligible for tax-free childcare.

A new Childcare Choices website has been launched – www.childcarechoices.gov.uk – and the introduction of the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme will begin on Friday, April 28, for parents of the youngest children.

It will be gradually rolled out over 2017 – cutting childcare costs for working families across the UK by up to £2,000 per child per year or £4,000 for disabled children.

On top of this, from September, parents of three and four-year-old children living in England will be able to apply for a new 30 hours of free childcare offer, worth around £5,000 per child. This scheme was piloted in Northumberland.

The Childcare Choices website includes a childcare calculator – www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator – for parents to compare all the Government’s childcare offers and check what works best for their families.

Through the site, parents can also pre-register for email alerts that will notify them when they can apply, as well as providing details of existing government childcare offers.

Education Secretary, Justine Greening, said: “Affordable childcare and early-years education are a vital part of how we can get our children on the right path, while also helping parents to be back at work, if that is what they want. Many parents are struggling to balance the cost of childcare against the benefits of being in work and this Government wants to help.

“From today, parents can use the Childcare Choices website to find out what support is available for their family. Whether that’s our 30-hour free childcare offer, tax-free childcare or Universal Credit, the website is a quick and easy way for parents to choose the offer that’s best for them and their children.”