Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland
Millions of parents can pre-register from today for the UK Governments new childcare offers, with the launch of a new Childcare Choices UK Government website.
In Scotland around 180,000 families will be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare.
The introduction of the UK Governments Tax-Free Childcare scheme will begin on 28 April, for parents of the youngest children. It will be gradually rolled out over 2017 cutting childcare costs for working families across the UK by up to 2,000 per child per year, or 4,000 for disabled children.
The Childcare Choices website includes a Childcare Calculator for parents to compare all the governments childcare offers and check what works best for their families.
Through the site parents can also pre-register for email alerts that will notify them when they can apply, as well as providing details of existing UK Government childcare offers.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, said:
The UK Government is on the side of Scottish working families and our childcare support will cut thousands of pounds off bills for millions of households, as well as supporting parents to return to or remain in work.
The new Childcare Choices website provides busy families with options that suit their needs, so they can clearly see which childcare offer works best for them. For the first time, we have brought all the childcare options together to make the process easier and simpler for families and childcare providers.
UK Government minister Andrew Dunlop said:
For many families in Scotland, childcare is a big chunk out of their take home pay, and some parents struggle to balance the benefits of being in work with the cost of childcare.
The UK Government is committed to supporting ordinary working families. From today the UK Governments financial support for childcare cost will be easier to access with the new Childcare Choices website. The UK Government is making the UK a country that works for everyone.
Tax-Free Childcare will be gradually rolled out, with parents of children under two invited to enter the scheme first. By the end of the year, all eligible parents will be able to receive government top-ups of 2 for every 8 that a parent pays into their Tax-Free Childcare account. This will be open to all working parents across the UK with children under 12, or under 17 if disabled.
Parents will be able to apply for Tax-Free Childcare through the governments new digital childcare service. Over 2,000 parents across the UK are already cutting their childcare costs in the Tax-Free Childcare trial.