If you're feeling stressed at the prospect of juggling your work and childcare arrangements this summer, you're not alone.

In fact, 31% of parents find it stressful to organise childcare for the holidays, according to a survey by YouGov.

Almost as many parents (30%) are worried about balancing their job and holiday childcare, while 54% say they look forward to their children returning to school in September.

To help ease this pressure, HMRC is encouraging parents to apply for government schemes that can potentially provide you with up to £2,000 for the costs of childcare.

So, which options could you take up to help cover the costs and make the holidays more manageable?

Tax-free childcare

Working parents of children under 12 (or 17 for parents of disabled children) can apply for tax-free childcare. To be eligible, parents must earn between £125 per week and £100,000 per year.

The scheme allows you to open an online account, and to save money into it towards childcare costs.

For every £8 you pay in, the government contributes £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year.

These savings can then be put towards the cost of registered childcare providers, including childminders, nurseries, nannies, after-school clubs, holiday clubs and schools.

As a parent, you can take advantage of more than 58,000 childcare providers registered for tax-free childcare across the UK, giving you a wide range of options for covering the school holidays.

30 hours' free childcare

As well as tax-free childcare, working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds in England may also be able to take advantage of the 30 hours' free childcare scheme.

Like tax-free childcare, it's available to those earning more than £125 a week and less than £100,000 a year.

The scheme offers eligible parents 30 hours' free childcare a week, for 38 weeks of the year - or 1,140 hours a year in total.

Some providers allow you to stretch these hours over 52 weeks, taking fewer hours per week. This could give you the option to spread your free hours over term time and the holidays.

You can apply online for a 30 hours' code up to 16 weeks before your child turns 3.

Once you've received your code, you can give it to a registered childcare provider to reserve a place. Your child can then start in their place the term after their third birthday.

The hours can be used in a range of participating providers, but doesn't cover the cost of meals, other consumables, additional hours or additional activities.

30 hours' free childcare is available to parents in England only, but other similar schemes exist in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Speak to us to find out what kind of support is available where you live.

Childcare vouchers

If your employer operates the older childcare vouchers system, you can still apply for these until 4 October 2018.

These allow you to pay for childcare costs over the summer holidays before any tax and national insurance deductions are made from your pay.

However, tax-free childcare is set to replace the older system of childcare vouchers in the autumn.

You will not be able to use childcare vouchers at the same time as the tax-free childcare scheme.

Get in touch to discuss your personal finances.

Williams Financial Planning Limited logo

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!