For many working parents the cost of childcare will be one of their biggest household expenses for the first few years. If you live in Wales you are eligible for the ‘childcare offer for Wales’ once your child is 3, until then the only help available for most working families is Tax free childcare and child benefit.
Tax Free Childcare has replaced Childcare vouchers in Wales. The offer gives you 20% off approved childcare in the form of a Government top up. The scheme can be used to pay for childminders, nurseries, nannies, after school clubs and play schemes as long as they are signed up.
To get tax free childcare, you must Apply for an account to pay your childcare provider through. You will need to set up a separate account for each child. For every £8 you pay into the account the government will add £2 – so make sure you work out 80% of your childcare cost before paying the money in. Once the money has cleared (usually within a few hours) you pay your childcare provider directly from the account.
You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).
You cannot get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as claiming Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.