£1,200 childcare cost pledge

Families are to receive up to £1,200 a year towards childcare costs from 2015. The pledge will reportedly only apply to families in which both parents work and earn less than £150,000 a year. The Budget will be announced on Wednesday.

Live updates

Government raises childcare funds but with some delay

Parents will be able to claim up to £1,200 per child under new childcare plans unveiled and promoted today by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The Coalition leaders met parents at a nursery in south London with the welcome news that from 2015 they will have 20 per cent of rising childcare costs covered.

But, as ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports, the delay for the new funding pledge to take effect has been criticised.

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Some families 'worse off' under new childcare funding

The Government's £1,200 childcare cost pledge will benefit many working families but leave others worse off, a leading think tank has claimed.

Harriet Waldegrave, education research fellow at Policy Exchange, said low income working families would see their childcare costs halved by the new measure.

This will be a huge help to those on the tightest budgets, and may free them up to choose care based on what they think is best for their child rather than what is cheapest.

There will, however, be some losers. A family with two working parents and one child will be worse off. If only one parent works, the family will not be able to get any support (unlike at present where the working parent can get vouchers), so it will be important to consider what this means for those families, for example, where one parent is in further education or training.

– Harriet Waldegrave

Charity says childcare funding delay 'helps no one'

The delay until 2015 of the Government's new funding for childcare "helps no one", the head of the single parents charity Gingerbread has said.

Chief executive Fiona Weir said the charity was "very pleased" to see help for those on low and middle incomes, while urging more to go to those earning less, but attacked the timing.

Two to three years is a long time to wait for measures that the Government itself says could offer a £4 billion boost to the economy each year. Work is single parents' best route out of poverty and the most effective way for the Government to cut the welfare bill; this delay helps no one.

– Fiona Weir

Clegg: Childcare allows parents to mix work and family

I've lost count of the number of parents who tell me that, because of high childcare costs, they just don't think it's worth going out to work, and this is all about trying to help them.

Basically trying to give them a bit of extra help - 20% off their childcare costs, up to a certain limit - so that it pays to go out to work, because there are so many parents who want to actually mix work and family but feel at the moment it just makes no sense to do so.

I hope that this, when it starts in 2015, will make a big, big difference to those parents who presently just don't think it's worth working.

– Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

Cameron and Clegg offer 'tax relief on childcare'

The Coalition leaders met parents at the Wandsworth Day Nursery in south London.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have met with families after pledging up to £1,200 a year in government support for children.

The Prime Minister described the funding as effectively "some tax relief on childcare".

"For many families the cost of childcare is not one issue among many, it is the issue - it really matters," Mr Cameron said.

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Hopes childcare scheme will help self employed parents

The current position for tax relief for childcare costs is focused entirely on giving relief to employees, rather than the self employed who get no help at all from the tax system.

There is no tax relief for childcare costs incurred by the self employed.

– Anita Monteith, Tax Manager at ICAEW

It is believed that the new £1,200 scheme would allow the self employed to claim.

New childcare scheme will 'boost pockets of families'

If Britain is going to succeed in the global race we must help those who work hard and want to get on.

Too many families find paying for childcare tough and are often stopped from working the hours they'd like.

This is a boost direct to the pockets of hard-working families in what will be one of the biggest measures ever introduced to help parents with childcare costs.

– David Cameron, Prime Minister

Delivering tax-free childcare is the next step to ensuring all families can work and get on.

The rising cost of childcare is one of the biggest challenges parents face and it means many mums and dads simply can't afford to work.

This not only hurts them financially, but is bad for the economy too.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
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