Too Few Parents Aware of New Tax-Free Childcare Scheme

Big Changes, Big Choices

Too few families are aware of a new Tax-Free Childcare scheme which is due to be introduced early this year.

As the charity dedicated to providing advice and information for working families, we surveyed 6,000 local parents.  Only 31% had an awareness of the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme and of these only 15% said they had a good understanding of how it would work.

Although an exact implementation date has yet to be announced it is expected soon and we are concerned that so few parents are aware of the massive changes coming down the track.

Chief Executive Marie Marin explained “the landscape of childcare financial support which was already cluttered, will become even more confusing for parents with the pending changes to family benefits and entitlements expected this year.  Thousands of parents in Northern Ireland will have to consider the options available to them and make the right decision to make sure they don’t lose out financially. However if they don’t understand the different types of support available they may make the wrong choice and end up financially worse off”

Both the Childcare Voucher and Tax-Free Childcare schemes will be running in tandem until at least April 2018. At that date it is expected that Childcare Vouchers will close to new entrants.

Marie continued “Employers For Childcare has called on local politicians and policy makers over the last number of years to raise awareness of the financial support available to families. We want to see a commitment from local government to ensure all parents are aware of the financial support available to help them with the cost of childcare and we call on the Assembly to implement a wide ranging promotional campaign targeted at parents”.

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme may be good for some but not for others. We would urge all parents to seek advice from our staff who are experts on the issue, so that they can work out which type of support is better for their individual circumstances.”

Employers For Childcare is hosting a Tax-Free Childcare Workshop for employers on February 9 in the Crown Plaza Hotel, Belfast, chaired by BBC Economics and Business Editor, John Campbell.

We are urging all employers to register now for our Tax-Free Childcare Workshop, so that they can inform their employees of the imminent changes.

Parents can also use the Childcare Cost Calculator to anticipate how the changes will affect their household. Alternatively you can speak to one of our Family Benefits Advisors on freephone 028 9267 8200.