Back to school? HMRC can help NI families with childcare costs

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As millions of children head back to school this autumn, HM Revenue and Customs is reminding families in Northern Ireland to not miss out on up to £2,000 a year towards their child’s wraparound care.

In June 2022, more than 9,240 working families in Northern Ireland benefitted from Tax-Free Childcare – but thousands more could be missing out.

Tax-Free Childcare puts more money back in the pockets of working families by providing much-needed financial support towards the cost of childcare for children aged 11 or under, or up to 17 if the child has a disability.

For every £8 paid into a Tax-Free Childcare online account, families will automatically receive an additional £2 in government top-up.

With children going back to school, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding families in Northern Ireland about Tax-Free Childcare (TFC).With children going back to school, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding families in Northern Ireland about Tax-Free Childcare (TFC).
With children going back to school, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding families in Northern Ireland about Tax-Free Childcare (TFC).

Families receive up to £500 every three months (£2,000 a year) per child, or £1,000 (£4,000 a year) if their child is disabled, helping towards the cost of before and after-school clubs, childminders and nurseries, holiday clubs and other approved childcare schemes.

Overall in June, HMRC paid out £41.6 million in top-up payments, which was shared between approximately 391,000 families across the UK.

Families can find out what childcare support is best for them via Childcare Choices.

Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director general for customer services, said: “Tax-Free Childcare can make a big difference to families in Northern Ireland, helping with the bills for things like wraparound care for school children, nurseries, childminders and holiday clubs. It’s easy to register – search ‘Tax-Free Childcare’ on GOV.UK.”

More than one million families in the UK are entitled to some form of government childcare support and the government is encouraging those eligible to not miss out on their entitlements.

For thousands of families who use Tax-Free Childcare, the money they save each month on their childcare costs is money that goes back into their pockets.

Accounts can be opened at any time of the year and can be used straight away, and money can be deposited at any time and used when needed. Any unused money that is deposited can be simply withdrawn at any time.

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