New start date for Tax-Free Childcare

The start date for a new government scheme offering help with childcare costs has been put back by more than a year.

It was originally planned that the Tax-Free Childcare initiative would be introduced in autumn 2015.

But when legal action was brought by a group of childcare voucher providers involved in delivering the scheme that Tax-Free Childcare will eventually replace, they were granted an interim order preventing implementation of Tax-Free Childcare.

Following a Supreme Court judgement in the government’s favour on 1 July, the Treasury said that Tax-Free Childcare was now expected to launch from early 2017.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Damian Hinds said: “We are pleased that the government’s proposals for delivering Tax-Free Childcare have been found to be clearly lawful. We are now pressing ahead with the scheme as part of our ongoing commitment to support working families.”

Tax-Free Childcare will provide up to 1.8 million families across the UK with up to £2,000 of childcare support per year, per child, via an online system.

The existing Employer‑Supported Childcare scheme, often referred to as childcare vouchers, will remain open to new entrants until Tax-Free Childcare is launched. Parents who wish to remain in Employer-Supported Childcare once Tax-Free Childcare is launched will be able to do so, while their current employer continues to offer the voucher scheme.

Link: Tax-Free Childcare information

Link: The Supreme Court ruling