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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).

If you're a working parent, you can apply for Tax-Free Childcare which is available now. Tax-Free Childcare will replace Childcare Vouchers in the future.

You can apply if you have a:

  • child under 4 on 31st August 2017
  • disabled child who is under 17

See the full eligibility criteria (opens in a new window)

You may also be eligible for the new 30 hours free childcare scheme. Find out more about 30 hours free childcare offer

Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

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


How will it work?

How to use Tax-Free childcare:

  1. You will set up an online childcare account to pay your childcare provider from.
  2. For every £8 you pay into the account, the government will pay £2. The most the government will pay is £2,000 per child per year, and £4,000 for disabled children.
  3. Every child will have a Tax-Free Childcare reference number. You can use this number to help identify payments.
  4. You can only use Tax-Free Childcare to pay for registered or approved providers who sign up to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

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. You can use the government's  childcare funding calculator (opens in a new window) to work out which is better for your family. You can claim both Tax-Free Childcare and up to 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4 year olds.

More information

More information on the government's childcare schemes is available on the Childcare Choices website (opens in a new window). It also includes a childcare calculator to find out how much you could receive.

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