By Daniel Hunter
Ahead of tomorrow's (Wednesday) Budget the Government have announced plans that will see some parents in the UK able to claim back up to £1,200 a year for each child from 2015.
Parents will be allowed to claim back 20% out of a total of around £6,000 - what they believe to be the average annual price of a childcare place.
Initially, it will cover children up to five years old, but will build up "over time" to include all children under 12. But Labour said parents would be disappointed not to get help sooner.
Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world, with many people with two or more children saying it does not make financial sense for both parents to work.
However, John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the news.
"The FSB welcomes the change to the childcare voucher system. The proposals should increase flexibility in the workforce and encourage more women back into work," he said.
"Importantly the vouchers will also be available for the first time to the self employed. This is great news, as it starts to recognise that due to their economic status the self employed often miss out on welfare provision.
"This move should therefore support enterprise and we hope will also encourage new childcare providers into the market, leading to lower prices and better provision in markets where supply is limited."
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