HMRC is reminding parents that the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme can help balance work and school holiday childcare. The TFC scheme helps support working families with their childcare costs and can be used to pay for regulated holiday clubs during the school holidays. The TFC scheme provides for a government top-up on parental contributions. For every 80p in the £1 contributed by parents an additional 20p or 20%, will be funded by Government up to a maximum total of £10,000 per child per year. This will give parents annual savings of up to £2,000 per child (and up to £4,000 for disabled children until the age of 17) in childcare costs.
More than 58,000 registered childcare providers including school, football, art and tennis clubs have signed up across the UK. Parents can pay into their account regularly and save up their TFC allowance to use during school holidays. There is also an additional 30 hours free childcare available for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds in England.
The TFC scheme is open to all qualifying parents including, the self-employed and those on a minimum wage. The scheme is also available to parents on paid sick leave as well as those on paid and unpaid statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave. In order to be eligible to use the scheme parents will have to be in work at least 16 hours per week and earn at least the national minimum wage or living wage. If either parent earns more than £100,000, both parents are unable to use the scheme.