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Tax-Free Childcare

Who can get Tax-Free Childcare?

If you're a working parent, you can apply for Tax-Free Childcare for all children up to 12 years (17 if they have a disability). Tax-Free Childcare will replace Childcare Vouchers which will not be available to new applicants from October 2018.

See the full eligibility criteria. You may also be eligible for 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

If you haven't started using childcare yet (such as if you're on maternity leave), you can still set up an account to start saving. 

How do I use Tax-Free Childcare and how much can I get?

You will set up an online childcare account to pay your childcare provider from. Every child will have a Tax-Free Childcare reference number. You can use this number to help identify payments.

For every £8 you pay into the account, the government will pay £2 (£4 for disabled children). The most the government will pay is £2,000 per child per year, and £4,000 for disabled children.

You can only use Tax-Free Childcare to pay for registered or approved providers who sign up to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

How can I find out if my provider is offering Tax-Free Childcare

Check with your provider to see if they are signed up. If your provider isn't signed up to the scheme, they can register via the GOV.UK childcare service.

Can I claim Tax-Free Childcare alongside other funding?

You can claim both Tax-Free Childcare and up to 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

You are unable to claim Tax-Free Childcare and Tax Credits or Childcare Vouchers. Find out which funding would be better for your family using the government's childcare funding calculator. It will also give you an idea how much you can receive.

How to apply

If eligible, apply for Tax-Free Childcare through the Childcare Service. If you are eligible for 30 hours, you can apply through the same application.

Reconfirm your eligibility

If you are claiming Tax-Free Childcare you must reconfirm your eligibility. You must do this 3 months from the date you applied to receive the funding. You must do this every 3 months.

Find out how to reconfirm your eligibility

Access your childcare account

If you are having trouble accessing your account or cannot recall how to do it, see our guidance on signing into your childcare account

More information

To find out about fee charging policies*, extra costs, paying for fees, deposits and retainers, speak to your childcare provider. *You need to agree to this when you register. 

Find more information on Childcare Choices.

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