Eligibility for childcare support has been extended for working parents

childcare support
© Korn Vitthayanukarun

The Government has confirmed that working parents who are on the coronavirus support schemes will still be eligible for childcare support even if their income falls below the minimum threshold requirement

From Sunday 1st November, working parents who receive support through the Government’s new Job Support Scheme and extended Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will continue to be entitled to childcare support, including the 30 hours offer and Tax-Free Childcare, even if their income levels fall below the threshold temporarily whilst on these schemes.

Support Schemes

The Job Support Scheme and extension to Self-Employed Income Support Scheme have been launched to replace the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which ends on 31st October.

30 hours free childcare

The minimum income threshold for 30 hours free childcare and Tax-Free Childcare usually equates to 16 hours per week at the national minimum wage.

The Department for Education has received 180,000 applications and 430,000 reconfirmations for the 30 hours free childcare since March 2020.

Data has revealed that attendance at early years settings is now at 86% of pre-coronavirus daily levels and is set to increase further. It comes as more parents return back to work after the impact of the pandemic.

Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said:

“This Government is increasing the safety net available to families, protecting working parents and our dedicated early years sector. This has been our constant priority, which is why I am so pleased to see attendance rates rising, as more parents return to work and take up the formal childcare arrangements they used before COVID-19 struck.

“It’s testament to the hard work of early years professionals that these numbers are returning to what we would have seen before the pandemic.

“We know challenges remain for many families, which is why we continue to protect parents’ eligibility for our free childcare offers so they retain this vital support.”

Karl Khan, Director General HMRC Customer Service said:

“HMRC remains ready to help all customers as part of the government’s response to the pandemic, including those who benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.

“We want everyone to get the money they are entitled to, and there’s a range of support available to help families with childcare costs. We’d encourage parents to check the Childcare Choices website to see which offers will work best for them.”


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