Parents are being encouraged to take advantage of the government's tax-free childcare scheme to help manage childcare costs over the school holidays.

YouGov polled 334 parents of children aged 16 and under on behalf of HMRC, and found that 31% felt stressed trying to arrange childcare for the school holidays.

Around the same figure (30%) also found it difficult to balance their job and school holiday childcare, and 54% said they look forward to their children returning to school at the end of the holidays.

To help manage this stress, HMRC is urging parents to apply for tax-free childcare, which provides a government contribution on savings used to cover childcare costs.

For every £8 paid in, the government adds an extra £2 up to a limit of £2,000 a year, or £4,000 for parents of disabled children.

This can be put towards the costs of registered childcare providers, including nurseries, childminders, after-school clubs and holiday clubs.

Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, said:

"Organising childcare for school holidays is important for parents.

"Tax-free childcare and 30 hours' free childcare [in England] help make things easier by cutting thousands of pounds from the childcare bills of working parents.

"So I hope families across the country visit the Childcare Choices website to take advantage of the offer available from the government, and enjoy the holidays."

Talk to us about tax-free childcare.