One key announcement – changes to the Government’s proposed childcare support scheme - was made a day ahead of the Budget. The scheme will now be introduced from autumn 2015, with help initially available for families with children under five, extending to children under 12 within the first year (significantly advancing the proposed timescale from that announced at the Autumn Statement).
Other changes to the proposals include an extension of the amount available to parents under the scheme (to a maximum Government contribution of £2,000 per child each year) and a move away from a voucher system to an online account which parents will pay into and which will be topped up by the Government. The scheme will only be available to families with both parents in work (one parent in work with a lone parent family). Each parent will need to earn more than a minimum of £50 a week and less than £150,000 per year, and the scheme will not be available to those receiving tax credits or Universal Credit.