Nick’s Netmums Q & A on childcare

imageOver at Netmums, Nick Clegg has been answering questions about the new tax free childcare system announced yesterday. He explains the three elements, including the extra help for families on the lowest incomes:

Firstly, if you’re a working family with children under 12, which doesn’t receive tax credits, Universal Credit or Employer Supported Childcare, but both parents are working or you’re a lone working parent, the government will provide 20% of your child care costs up to £10,000 a year.

This will cover parents working full-time and part-time as well as, for the first time ever, those mums and dads who run their own businesses. This will provide the equivalent of £2,000 per child, per year for every working family, except those on extremely high wages.

Secondly, we’ve also decided to give more help to the working families who receive Universal Credit by investing £400 million to boost the contribution we give you for up to 85% of your childcare costs. This means that you can be sure that work pays. It won’t happen straight away, but we’ll bring it in as fast as possible.

Thirdly we’re giving £50 million to early education providers as a cash boost to help 3 or 4 year olds from poorer families. These children often fall behind early. So, if your child needs it, this investment means they can get extra attention to help them progress alongside their classmates.

What do people have to do to take advantage of this extra help?

From Autumn 2015 parents will be able to open an account through a short form online. It will be a bit like online banking, and you will be able to use the same website to manage the account for all of your children. Once you have applied, the government will confirm your eligibility within a few days. Then you will be able to pay money in whenever you like, or pay a set amount each week or each month when you get paid. Your loved ones can also pay into the account if they like.

There are all sorts of questions about the scheme. You can read the whole article here. 

It’s interesting that David Cameron and Nick Clegg announced the change together today. But the positioning of the information on the Government website gives a greater idea about who is really pushing this forward.

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  • The ‘up to £2000’ phrase smacks of cynical Tory politics – they want casual observers to think it means they get all of the first £2000 back, instead of just 20% of it. But I suppose our great leadership think ‘more fool them – they’ll have voted by the time they realise’.

  • Great stuff – well done Nick!

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