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Tax-Free Childcare information for parents

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme is available to parents of children under 12 years old (under 17 if they have a disability).

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 disabled). Tax-Free Childcare will replace the Childcare Vouchers scheme which will not be available to new applicants from October 2018.

See the full eligibility criteria (opens in a new window). You may also be eligible for 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

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 childcare provider is offering Tax-Free Childcare?

Speak to your provider and ask if they're on the scheme. If your provider isn't signed up to the scheme, they can register on the  GOV childcare service (opens in a new window).

Can I claim Tax-Free Childcare alongside other funding?

If you are already claiming Tax Credits or Childcare Vouchers, you cannot claim Tax-Free Childcare too. Use the government's  childcare funding calculator (opens in a new window) to work out which is better for your family and find how much you could receive. You can claim both Tax-Free Childcare and up to 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

How to apply

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

Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

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.

Find out more on the  Childcare Choices website (opens in a new window).

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