18/03/2014

Working Parents To Benefit From Childcare Allowance

A major new childcare package to help millions of parents has been unveiled by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister today.

The measures 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 scheme will be introduced far more quickly than previously announced so that all working parents with children under 12 will be covered within the first year from autumn 2015. This is significantly faster than initially proposed, where children under 12 would have gradually qualified for the scheme over a 7-year period.

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.

Tax-Free Childcare will be open to more than twice as many families as currently use Employer Supported Childcare (ESC) vouchers and, unlike ESC, will not depend on employers offering it. In addition to giving support to the self-employed, the scheme has been adjusted to ensure those working part-time, earning £50 per week and above, those on maternity, paternity or adoption leave and those starting their own business who may not meet the minimum earning requirement will be included, giving them government help with childcare costs for the first time.

Mr Clegg said: "All children deserve the best start in life. As, together, we build a stronger economy for Britain, I'm committed to making sure that we create a fairer society too.

"Today's package of support will provide a childcare boost for millions of hardworking families, and a £50 million cash injection for early education providers to support those children who need extra help in their early years. We want to ensure that everyone can get on and succeed."

(CVS/CD)


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