Crack your Easter childcare costs with tax-free top-ups

The biting cost of living crisis and yet another rise in interest rates means families need all the financial help they can get.

With the Easter school holidays nearly here, HMRC is reminding mums and dads not to miss out on Government help to pay for childcare to help lift some of the burden.

Tax-Free Childcare can pay for any approved childcare for children aged 11 or under, or 16 if the child has a disability. More than 405,000 families used the scheme in December 2022, with each benefitting from a share of £41.5 million in government top-ups.

Victoria Atkins, Financial Secretary to The Treasury, said: “Tax-Free Childcare provides extra help with childcare costs which could make all the difference to working families and make childcare expenses more manageable. I would urge families to go online today to find out how it can help you.”

Working families, where each parent or carer earns up to £100,000, can use it, meaning for every £8 paid into an online account they will receive an additional £2 from the Government. This means parents and carers can receive up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year for each child), or £1,000 (£4,000 a year for each child) if their child is disabled.

for every £8 paid into an online account they will receive an additional £2 from the Government. This means parents and carers can receive up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year for each child), or £1,000 (£4,000 a year for each child) if their child is disabled.

Whether children go to nursery, a childminder, attend breakfast, after school or holiday clubs, as well as out of school activities, Tax-Free Childcare could be used.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “Childcare is so important for working families, especially during school holiday time. Tax-Free Childcare provides financial support when it’s needed the most. Search ‘Tax-Free Childcare’ on GOV.UK to find out how it could help you.”

A Tax-Free Childcare account can be opened online in just 20 minutes. Money can be deposited at any time to be used straight away, or whenever it is needed. Unused money in the account can be withdrawn at any time.

Families could be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare if they:

  • have a child or children aged 11 or under. They stop being eligible on 1 September after their 11th birthday. If their child has a disability, they can receive support until 1 September after their 16th birthday
  • earn, or expect to earn, at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week, on average
  • each earn no more than £100,000 per annum
  • do not receive tax credits, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers

A full list of the eligibility criteria is available on GOV.UK.

Also, check GOV.UK to find out what other cost of living support, including help withchildcare costs , families could be eligible for.

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