In recent years, the support a school is expected to provide its families has become more comprehensive than ever. Often, this support now extends beyond ‘traditional’ school hours, in the form of school-run wraparound childcare services (such as breakfast and after-school clubs).
A crucial element in this expanded role is ensuring these services are as accessible and affordable for families as possible; which is where the government’s Tax-Free Childcare scheme comes into play.
What is Tax-Free Childcare?
The Tax-Free Childcare scheme is a government initiative designed to help working families with the costs of childcare. For every £8 parents pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account, the government adds an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).
Why Should Schools Accept Tax-Free Childcare Payments?
1. Increased Affordability, Higher Uptake
When a school registers for the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, it directly reduces the cost for parents using the service (without reducing the school’s income) – which should lead to increased numbers of children attending.
2. Financial Accessibility for Diverse Families
By accepting payments through this scheme, schools open their doors wider, accommodating a more diverse range of families. This inclusivity is not just good for the school community; it reflects positively on the school’s commitment to supporting all pupils and their families.
3. Enhancing School Reputation and Community Relations
Schools that adapt to the needs of their community and provide financially accessible services enhance their reputation. Parents talk, and a school known for its supportive measures is a school that will be appreciated and valued in the community.
How Do Schools Register For Tax-Free Childcare?
For schools not yet registered, the process is straightforward:
1. Verify Eligibility – Double check your wraparound childcare provision meets the necessary criteria for the scheme (for reference, 99% of schools we work with are eligible).
2. Register with HMRC – Complete the registration process via gov.uk.
3. Enhancing School Reputation and Community Relations – Schools that adapt to the needs of their community and provide financially accessible services enhance their reputation. Parents talk, and a school known for its supportive measures is a school that will be appreciated and valued in the community.
In today’s economic climate, offering payment via the Tax-Free Childcare scheme can reduce the financial burden of wraparound childcare for working families; and help drive the uptake and long-term viability of school-run breakfast and after school clubs.
Any schools looking for further support with Tax-Free Childcare or managing payments for their wraparound childcare should get in touch with Childcare Bookings today. Our service allows schools to fully outsource all payment processing (via tax-free childcare as well as card or childcare voucher), including reconciliation against parents’ accounts and credit control.
Are you a school that is running (or thinking of starting) your own Breakfast & Afterschool club?
We can help, whether that is just an informal chat, or to
discuss our service. Click here to get in touch.
About Childcare Bookings
Childcare Bookings provide our school partners with a fully outsourced booking, payment and admin service, together with a booking system that is taking bookings for you 24/7 – and even your own dedicated administrator to support parents.
In addition, we provide an Operations Pack, including template T’s & C’s, a best-practice Club Operations Manual, policies and childcare-specific forms and procedures.
Why not get in touch to see if we can help you?
About the Author
Dan McCaffrey is the Managing Director of Childcare Bookings for Schools, the only outsourced payment, bookings and administration service for school-run childcare in the UK. A former primary teacher, he is also the owner of Pioneer Childcare, the 5th largest wraparound provider in the country, where he learned (the hard way!) everything he shares in these blogs. Dan lives in Sussex with his family.
You May Also Like
Building upon the foundation laid by the Department for Education's (DfE) latest guidance on...
Unveiling the latest Wraparound Childcare responsibilities for Schools & MATs according to DfE’s new guidance (February 2024)
In light of fresh directives unveiled by the Department for Education (DfE) in February 2024 – as...
Schools providing wraparound childcare play a pivotal role in supporting their community....