HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding working families in Kent and the South East that they can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for their childcare costs over the summer.

Tax-Free Childcare – a childcare top-up for working parents – can be used to help pay for accredited holiday clubs, childminders or sports activities – giving parents and carers that extra peace of mind that their child is having fun during the school summer holidays and it can save them money.

Tax-Free Childcare is available for children aged up to 11, or 17 if the child has a disability. And for every £8 deposited into an account, families will receive an additional £2 in government top-up, capped at £500 every three months, or £1,000 if the child is disabled.

Parents and carers can check their eligibility and register for Tax-Free Childcare via https://www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare. They can apply for an account at any time and start using it straight away. By depositing money into their accounts, families can benefit from the 20% top-up and use the money to pay for childcare costs when they need to, for example, during the summer holidays.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said: “We want to help kids stay active this summer, whether they are going to summer holiday clubs or a childminder. A childcare top-up will go a long way towards helping parents plan and pay for summer activities to keep their kids happy and healthy.

“To find out more search ‘tax-free childcare’ on GOV.UK.”

45,525 working families used their account in March 2021 in the South East. And in the same month, HMRC paid out more than £33 million in top-up payments, which was shared between more than 282,000 families across the UK.

Tax-Free Childcare is also available for pre-school aged children attending nurseries, childminders or other childcare providers. Families with younger children will often have higher childcare costs than families with older children, so the tax-free savings can really make a difference.

Childcare providers can also sign up for a childcare provider account via GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/sign-up-to-tax-free-childcare-if-youre-a-childcare-provider to receive payments from parents and carers via the scheme.

By Ed

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