In early 2017, a new scheme will be introduced for childcare. Unlike the current scheme, the new system will feature a digital registration and account for which all parents, including the self-employed, will be able to register.
While there are some pros and cons for parents and employers, what will these changes mean for childminders? When the new scheme is rolled out, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind in order to be included.
Steps you need to take as a childcare provider
In order to benefit from the new scheme (receive payments from parents), you must first sign up. Not to worry though - HMRC will be sending out letters inviting qualified childcare individuals to sign up online.
The sign up site will be immediately available, so you will be able to do so as soon as you receive your letter by October of this year. HMRC states that it may take up to 12 weeks to process your registration, so if you’re not yet registered, this is an important first step.
How to register
If you are currently a member of a regulatory foundation such as Ofsted, then you are considered an approved childcare provider and will receive the letter inviting you to register online for the new scheme.
You can be registered in the Early Years (5 and under) register, the Childcare Register (5-7) or both and must do so in order to legally provide childminding services and be eligible to sign up for the new scheme.
If you are not registered, then it is illegal to provide childcare to children under 8 for more than 2 hours a day and receive payment. Contact Ofsted or an approved regulatory authority to register today.
If you’re already registered
If you’re already registered with Ofsted or another recognised regulator, double check your details, such as your current address and your contact information to ensure that you will be able to successfully sign up for the new scheme online.
Once you sign up, parents will be able to search through childcare providers and will be able to see that you’re qualified and registered for the new tax-free scheme.
In order to be able to sign up as a childcare provider for the new scheme, you’ll need to have your UTR (Unique Tax Reference) number ready. This is the ten digit number that you received from HMRC when you registered as a self-employed worker.
You’ll also need to have your bank details nearby so that you can enter the information into the system in order to receive payments for your work once the new scheme is launched.
HMRC will release more detailed information closer to 2017 when the new scheme will go into effect. If you are registered with a regulatory authority, the letter you receive inviting you to sign up online for the new scheme will also provide more information.
The current scheme will still be available to those employed by companies which offer it until it is phased out, and closes to new applications in 2018.