£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.

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More than two million families could gain from childcare scheme

More than two million working families stand to gain through a major expansion of government support for childcare.

Can the new childcare scheme please everybody? Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA

Under tax-free childcare plans, set out on the eve of the Budget, eligible families will receive up £1,200 a year for each child - to a maximum of 20% of their annual costs.

However the new scheme, which will replace the existing employer supported childcare programme (ESC), will not come into effect until late 2015 - after the next general election.

In order to qualify, both parents will have to be in work - or the one parent in the case of lone parent families - and each parent must be earning less than £150,000-a-year.Initially it will cover children up to five years old, but will build up "over time" to include children under 12.

Labour criticise timing of childcare pledge

Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, has dismissed the government's move to help parents with childcare costs because the support only kicks in after the 2015 elections.

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...

This announcement will not make up for the up to £1,500 that families on middle and low incomes have lost in cuts to childcare support – part of the £15 billion of cuts to support for children which will have been implemented before this announcement takes effect.

– shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg


Parents 'to get £1,200 a year for childcare'

Parents will receive up to £1,200 a year towards their childcare costs from 2015, according to reports.

The pledge will reportedly only apply to families in which both parents work and earn less than £150,000 a year.

The payment is part of a £1.4 billion investment in childcare and will be partly funded by the abolition of childcare vouchers.

It has taken four months for a deal to be reached after the Government pledged to help with childcare costs in January.

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