Government says scheme could help 2.5m working families
A government scheme, planned to start in 2015, could enable working parents to claim back up to £1,200 in childcare costs.
Parents will be allowed to claim back up to 20 per cent out of £6,000 - the average yearly price of a childcare place. At first this is planned to only cover children aged up to five, but would eventually include children under 12.
This would replace the current employer-supported childcare voucher scheme provided by only five per cent of employers.
To be eligible both parents have to work (in a two-parent family), and each parent must be earning a salary of less than £150k a year.
The government say the scheme could help 2.5m working families, but the Labour opposition say parents would be disappointed they didn't get help sooner.
Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: 'Parents will be disappointed that three years into this government they will not get any help with childcare costs for another two and a half years.
'While working parents won't get any help before the next election, David Cameron is happy to help millionaires with a tax cut now.'
He added the measure would not make up for the cuts the government has already made to support for children.
Anand Shulka, chief executive of national childcare charity, the Daycare Trust, said the 'almost universal' benefit shoukd be welcomed, but added that there would be 'losers from the scheme'.
'If we were designing a system, we would want to see something that gave more support, earlier than 2015, to people on lower incomes.
'The problem with a targeted system is it is difficult to administer and doesn't have the same buy-in as a scheme that offers support as widely as possible.'
Do you welcome the new childcare scheme? Let us know in the comments below.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.
I went to the BAFTAs for the first time - here’s what it’s like when you’re not a celebrity
An exhaustive account of everything you need to know about the 77th British Academy Film Awards
By Mischa Anouk Smith
Leo Woodall’s hilarious anecdote about Jennifer Coolidge is going viral
By Jenny Proudfoot
Taylor Swift has described her upcoming album as a “lifeline for me”
By Jenny Proudfoot