Ahead of the introduction of tax-free childcare in early 2017 and the 30 hours extended entitlement for three and four-year-olds in September 2017, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will trial a new, digital, joint childcare service later this year. The trial will involve around 1500 parents, including some who are eligible for both schemes. It will enable HMRC to extensively test the system and ensure it provides a smooth experience and quality service for parents.
Tax-free childcare and the extended free entitlement are a key part of the Government’s overall childcare offer which will provide over £6 billion per annum to working families and those on low incomes by the end of this Parliament.
The Government announced in November 2015 that parents will be able to apply online for both tax-free childcare and the extended free entitlement through a new joint childcare service being developed by HMRC, with their delivery partner National Savings & Investments (NS&I).
The joint childcare service will provide a simple and straightforward way for working parents to access both schemes, avoiding the need to provide the same information twice, and saving them valuable time.
In March 2016, the Government announced that tax-free childcare will be introduced and gradually rolled out during 2017. The service will be made available to all eligible families by the end of that year.