New childcare scheme set to save parents thousands

Sarah Barrett and daughter Erin.   Picture: OX64291 Mark Hemsworth

Sarah Barrett and daughter Erin. Picture: OX64291 Mark Hemsworth Buy this photo

First published in News

More than 19,000 families across the county are set to receive tax-free childcare next year.

Working families entitled to the benefit will receive up to £2,000 towards childcare costs in a scheme set to start in the autumn next year.

Figures show that thousands of families throughout the county will be entitled to the savings, including 3,920 in Oxford.

The scheme, announced during Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech, will be available for children up to the age of 12 and youngsters with disabilities up to the age of 17.

Single mother Sarah Barrett, from Rose Hill, returned to work nine months after daughter Erin, now four, was born.

She said: “I think, basically, that unless you are getting some kind of help it really isn’t worth women going out to work.

“Half a day’s childcare can cost around £130 a week for five half days. Some women don’t even earn that.

“It doesn’t pay to go out to work when you have children of pre-school age.

“The costs of childcare are very high and I think the Government is trying to help, but they just don’t live in the real world.

“They don’t see what families have to put up with and what we have to deal with financially.”

To qualify for the tax-free childcare package, at least one parent must be earning more than £50 a week, but no more than £150,000 a year.

Families receiving support through tax credits or universal credit will not be eligible.

For every £8 eligible parents pay for childcare, the government will pay £2 – equivalent to the basic rate of income tax.

Oxfordshire county councillor John Howson, who sits on the education scrutiny committee, said: “The announcement in the Queen’s Speech provides a huge boost to hard-working families across Oxfordshire. This is something Liberal Democrats have fought for and are now delivering in government.”

Mr Howson added: “We are committed to building a stronger economy and a fairer society – and this helps children get the best start in life.”

State support will be provided to 1.9 million UK families.

Existing childcare voucher schemes are due to be phased out as a result of the new measures.

How it works

The scheme will launch in the autumn next year and through the government website Gov.uk, parents will be able to open an online account.

Here they can deposit and withdraw money to cover the cost of childcare with a registered provider.

There will be a single log-in service where parents can view accounts for all of their children at once.

For every £8 paid in, the Government will contribute £2, equivalent to basic rate income tax.

Parents can pay into their childcare account whenever they like, allowing them to build up a balance for use during times when more childcare is needed.

Other family members and employers will also be able to pay into the account.

Who’s eligible?

Families eligible for tax free childcare across the county:

  • Cherwell            4,510
  • Oxford                       3,920
  • South Oxfordshire         3,990
  • Vale of White Horse      3,550
  • West Oxfordshire        3,040

• Our top stories:

Sexual assault on woman in Oxford yesterday linked to earlier rape

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

4:35pm Monday 22nd September 2014

A WOMAN was sexually assualted in the city yesterday, in an attack police have linked to a rape over the weekend.

Update: Man bailed after teenager raped in city centre

Oxford Mail:

11:57am Saturday 20th September 2014

A MAN arrested after a woman was raped in the city centre on Saturday morning has been bailed.

UPDATE: Tributes paid to Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, who has died

Oxford Mail: South Oxfordshire District Council leader Ann Ducker

10:21am Monday 22nd September 2014

Ann Ducker, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council, has died.

Corn Exchange's future debated

Oxford Mail: The Corn Exchange

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

The future use of the Corn Exchange will be discussed at a meeting tonight.

Minibus in accident near Littlemore

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

A minibus carrying a group of youngsters was involved in a crash with a car on the A4142 Eastern Bypass. Three adults, 10 teenagers and a child were involved in the crash.

Electricity line drama after fire wrecks shed in Yarnton

Oxford Mail: oxfordshire fire and rescue logo

9:10am Monday 22nd September 2014

Electricity cables collapsed after a blaze in a large garden shed in Yarnton on Sunday.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree