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North parents urged to apply for childcare costs boost

By Alan Beresford

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AS schools return in Scotland, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working parents they could save up to £2000 per child per year to pay towards after-school clubs and other childcare services.

HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary Angela MacDonald.
HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary Angela MacDonald.

Around 110,000 families in Scotland are eligible for Tax-Free Childcare, which can cut thousands of pounds off childcare bills.

All families have to do is pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account and for every £8 that they deposit, the UK Government immediately makes a top-up payment of an additional £2.

The scheme is open to working parents, including the self-employed, who earn between the minimum wage and £100,000 per year and have children aged 0-11 years old. Families with a disabled child, aged 0-17 years old, can receive up to £4000 in government support each year.

Families in Scotland can choose from childcare providers that have signed up to Tax-Free Childcare, including nannies, nurseries, childminders or after-school clubs.

HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, Angela MacDonald, said: “As more parents across the country return to work and kids head back to school following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there has never been a better time to sign up to Tax-Free Childcare.

“It takes just minutes to set up an account on our Childcare Choices website and soon you could be receiving up to £2000 per child towards the cost of childcare each year.”

UK government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart, added: “Tens of thousands of families in Scotland are eligible to access savings towards after-school clubs and other childcare services thanks to the UK Government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

"As more parents return to work and children to Scotland’s schools following the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, I urge people to make full use of the support. The scheme is part of a significant package of measures that the UK government has in place to help families in Scotland.”

For more information and to apply, visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

It includes a Childcare Calculator – www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator – that compares all the government’s childcare offers to check what works best for individual families.

Tax-Free Childcare is just one example of the support available to families in Scotland from the UK Government. More information on other schemes such as Help To Save and Marriage Allowance can be found at https://www.deliveringforscotland.gov.uk

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