THE benefits of a new childcare subsidy for working families could be limited by other support being cut, a York charity has warned.

The Government plans will be worth up to £2,000 per child when the online scheme, affecting children up to 12, begins next September. Ministers said it would mean twice as many parents, including those who are self-employed, being eligible for support.

Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said its research showed childcare costs had risen by 37 per cent over the last five years, saying: "We welcome the Government taking steps to tackle this huge expense for families, and especially welcome the inclusion of all families on Universal Credit.

"However, it is worrying that the money used to fund new childcare proposals which should do more for the poorest families will be offset by savings elsewhere within Universal Credit. Additional help for childcare for low-income families should not be funded by cutting their support elsewhere, and in the longer term we need to reform the current patchwork of childcare funding."