The Government has now released a consultation providing more detail about the tax free childcare scheme proposed for 2015.
Detail in the consultation includes:
- 20 percent (basic rate) of childcare costs are to be covered by the Government, up to £6,000 per year, per child. Saving of up to £1,200 per eligible child.
- Starting Autumn 2015 for children born from September 2010 - so gradually increasing for children up to age 12 by 2027.
- It is confirmed that families must have all parents in work.
- Each parent must be earning less than £150,000.
- Childcare scheme is not available to people already receiving the child element of tax credits/universal credit.
- Scheme to be run online via voucher accounts through private sector organisations.
With the scheme having another 2 years before the launch, the Government is seeking the views of parents via an online questionnaire.
There has already been widespread criticism of the scheme not being available to single parents, or families where only one parent works. The Government has tried to alleviate concerns by extending their proposal to parents on parental leave, or carers.
The online questionnaire can be accessed here.
The Government is also looking for opinion on the extension of child support thought the new Universal Credit scheme. It is planned to offer an additional £200 million of funding for childcare within the scheme.
The changes to Universal Credit would be to increase the current 70 percent of childcare cost cover to 85 percent. This will only be in cases where at least one parent is earning above the personal allowance threshold (£10,000).
An online Universal Credit Calculator is available to see how these changes could affect people.