Working parents will be given a childcare tax break worth £2,000 per child as part of measures to be unveiled in tomorrow's Budget.
The current situation bolts too many families into financial hardship, with high childcare costs meaning that for them working doesn't pay.
From April 2015, new parents will be able to share up to a year’s leave from the birth of their child. Here's what you need to know.
Mothers at a toddler group in Hertfordshire said today's announcement that childcare tax break for working parents will be worth £2,000 per child, instead of the £1,200 initially proposed, is a help - but not quite enough
ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:
The childcare tax break announced by the Government is designed "for working families", the Deputy Prime Minister told Daybreak.
Nick Clegg said the Government "had never hidden" that tax breaks worth £2,000 per child were targeted at working parents, as opposed to families with one adult staying at home to look after their children.
"It is important I think to provide support to those parents who are working or maybe want to work more to allow them to do so. This of course will give them that extra bit of support so if they want to work some more, they can indeed do so."
The bulk of childcare costs for 300,000 families on Universal Credit will be paid for, the Coalition has announced.
The Government pledged to increase free childcare for some of the UK's poorest families by raising the amount they would cover from 70% to 85%.
Children's charity Barnardo's hailed as a "double victory" for the poorest families, while Prime Minister David Cameron said the move would "help millions".
Details of how that would be funded "from within the Universal Credit programme" would be set out at the time of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, Number 10 said.
Labour has blasted the Government's extension of working couples childcare tax break and says its introduction after the 2015 general election will be "too little, too late".
Shadow minister for children Lucy Powell explained:
– Lucy Powell
David Cameron has cut support for children and families by £15 billion since he came to office.
And today he confirms that no help will arrive until after the election. This is too little too late.
Of course any childcare support is welcome but this Government has done nothing in this Parliament to help parents experiencing a cost-of-living crisis.
Childcare costs have spiralled by 30% since 2010 and the Tories have rejected Labour's plan for 25 hours' free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds.
- Parents will be excluded from paying the basic rate of income tax of 20% on childcare costs of up to £10,000 - up from the proposed £6,000.
- Self-employed and part-time workers will be covered by setting the lower earnings threshold at £50 per week.
- The existing voucher scheme will continue for those already using it but be closed to new entrants.
A tax break for working parents trying to meet childcare costs will be more generous than expected and include all children under the age of 12, the Government has announced.
The new scheme will be worth £2,000 per child, instead of the £1,200 that was first proposed and will be brought in by the Autumn of 2015.
Announced just ahead of Wednesday's annual budget speech, the Government will extend the cut off age from five-years-old to include all children under 12.
Around 1.9 million families could benefit, twice as many as under the present voucher scheme which is only available where adopted by an employer.
But the policy has faced criticism for excluding couples where one parent does not work and being available to high-earning households with a joint income of up to £300,000.
In the last five years the price of part-time nursery care for a child under two has risen by 27%, with parents paying around £1,214 more in 2014 than in 2009 according to a new report.
These figures come from a Family and Childcare Trust report which says that families are paying more on average for part-time childcare than they spend on their mortgage.
For a family with two youngsters in full-time childcare the average yearly cost is £11,700, the report adds, 62% higher than the average yearly mortgage bill for a family home.
The study says that since 2002, childcare costs have risen more than inflation each year and that international data shows that parents in Britain hand over more than a quarter of their salary (26.6%), more than most other European nations.
Families are paying more on average for part-time childcare than they spend on their mortgages, according to a new report.
It reveals parents are handing over more than £7,500 a year for childcare for two children, around 4.7% more than the average mortgage bill.
The report, by the Family and Childcare Trust, also suggests that some families maybe spending more on childcare than they do on their weekly shopping
It found that a family with one two-year-old child attending nursery part-time (25 hours a week) and a five-year-old in an after-school club will pay out £7,549 a year on average.
This is higher than the UK average annual UK mortgage, which the report says is £7,207 according to official data.