To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing financial support via the Tax-Free Childcare scheme for parents in London in the context of the rise in the cost of childcare in London relative to other parts of England.
Tax Free Childcare provides financial support for working parents with their childcare costs. For every £8 parents pay into their childcare account, the government adds £2 up to a maximum of £2,000 in top up per year for each child aged up to 11, and up to £4,000 per disabled child until they’re 17.
In addition, 15 hours of free childcare per week is available for all three- and four-year-olds regardless of circumstance and an additional 15 hours of free childcare per week is available for working parents of three- and four-year-olds. Some parents can also access the disadvantaged 2-year-old offer which gives 15 hours of free childcare per week to 2-year-olds who meet certain social and economic criteria. Universal Credit claimants are able to claim up to 85% of their childcare costs.
As Tax-Free Childcare is a UK-wide offer, the level of financial support it provides has been set at the same level to avoid arbitrary cut-offs between different regions.