To ask Her Majesty's Government why the take-up of child tax credits for nursery provision is at its current level.
There is no child tax credit specifically for nursery provision.
Help with the costs of registered or approved childcare for working families (including but not limited to childcare provided by nurseries) is provided through the childcare element of the working tax credit.
The number of families benefiting from the childcare element has increased by over 80 per cent since new tax credits were introduced in 2003, and was 478,000 as of December 2009. There are now twice as many families benefiting from it as from the childcare tax credit in the working families tax credit, the predecessor system, and over 15 times as many families as were benefiting from the childcare disregard in family credit in 1997.
The latest figure for the number of families benefiting from the childcare element is regularly published in table 4.4 of the HM Revenue and Customs publication Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics, available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-dec09.pdf.
Estimates for the take-up rate of the childcare element are not available, due to the absence of an estimate of the number of families eligible for the childcare element.