Martin Lewis: money saving expert shares advice which could help to save up to £2,000 on childcare costs
The Money Saving Expert has urged people to check if they are eligible for the scheme
and live on Freeview channel 276
Martin Lewis has issued advice that could help people save thousands of pounds on childcare costs.
Those eligible for the scheme can get up to £2,000 per child per year, with tax-free payments of £500 arriving every three months to aid with childcare costs.
If a child is disabled, it will increase to £1,000 every three months, which is up to £4,000 a year.
The scheme can be used to cover childcare for children up to 11 years old (or 16 if they have disabilities).
Martin explained that it does not matter what childcare provider you choose as it covers Ofsted-regulated care, childminders, nurseries, after-school clubs, and holiday clubs.
He first noted that the name of this Government scheme can be misleading and has no relation to tax.
The financial journalist also warned that 800,000 people could be missing out on the benefit and urged them to claim it.
He said: "There are 800,000 people eligible for tax-free childcare, eligible for free money from the state.
"But this scheme has been complicated and under-publicised, and many of you are missing out."
The first step is to open an online Tax-Free Childcare account on the government website.
For every 80p you pay in, the Government will add 20p, meaning 20% of the childcare bill will be paid by the state. This is up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year.
Martin said: “To get this, you must be working an average of 16 hours or more per week, you can be self-employed, and if you’re a couple, you must both be working 16 hours or more, and the maximum you can both earn is £100,000."
One of the key features of the Tax-Free Childcare scheme is that you need to reconfirm that you are eligible four times a year.
The Money saving expert also reminded people that children aged three or four get 15-30 hours of free childcare each week.