200,000 families to benefit from tax-free childcare

Parents, including self employed workers, can apply for tax-free chilcare.
Parents, including self employed workers, can apply for tax-free chilcare.
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Around 200,000 working families in Scotland will be eligible for up to £2,000 of childcare support per child every year, the Treasury has announced.

Parents, including self-employed people, can on Wednesday apply for tax-free childcare for children under 12, by visiting the website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

There they will be able to access a “childcare calculator” which helps parents choose childcare support.

The Treasury says the contribution is worth up to £4,000 for disabled children.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon to give free childcare to under-fives by 2020

More than 190,000 parents across the UK have applied and now have a tax-free childcare account.

They can use the account to pay for regulated childcare, including nurseries, childminders, after school or holiday clubs.

For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account, the UK Government says it will add an extra £2.

READ MORE: Edinburgh childcare costs ‘almost as much as mortgage’

Once eligible parents have opened their new account they can then start paying their childcare provider using the 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.”

The Scottish Government is committed to increasing free early learning and childcare provision from 60 to 1,140 hours from 2020 with trials ongoing in several areas.