Documents to download

This note provides an overview of the Childcare Payments Bill, and its passage through the House of Commons earlier this year, ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords on 9 December 2014.

The Childcare Payments Bill would provide for a ‘tax-free’ childcare payments scheme, to assist working parents in meeting the cost of childcare. Through the scheme, the Government would make a top-up payment of £2 for every £8 a parent pays towards childcare, via an online account. Government support would be capped at a maximum of £2,000 per child annually. In order to receive childcare payments, parents would be required to make a ‘declaration of eligibility’ stating that they meet a number of criteria. Tax-free childcare would not be available to tax credit or universal credit claimants. Once a declaration of eligibility is made, the Bill would make provision for other such payments to the claimant to cease. The scheme would be applicable to children under the age of 12, or 17 in the case of those children with disabilities. The new system would effectively replace the existing scheme of Employer-Supported Childcare, which would remain but be closed to new entrants. A number of amendments were made to the Bill during its consideration in the House of Commons, including to broaden the eligibility criteria as they apply to self-employed parents, and to extend the period of time prior to starting new employment that a person could apply to the tax-free childcare scheme.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

  • In April 2019, the UK Government identified excessive screen time for children as an emerging concern. Since that time, the UK has been under lockdown measures, imposed to help combat the spread of coronavirus, which have forced children to conduct their education and social lives online. This article considers what impact this may have on children and what advice has been given to parents and carers.

  • The social and domiciliary care sector is under huge strain as it tries to meet the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The Government has introduced several measures, principally through the Coronavirus Act 2020, which it says are aimed to help the sector cope at such unprecedented times. However, concern has been expressed that the changes may have unintended negative consequences for some of the most vulnerable in society.