Tax-free childcare

To be completed by: Wed 14 Feb 2018

Time: -Wed 14 Feb 2018 | Venue:

Tax-Free Childcare is being rolled out to families of children under 12 years old from 14th February 2018 - sign up now to be able to accept payments from parents

Parents will be able to open a new childcare account to access this financial support. For every £8 a parent pays into their childcare account, the government will pay in an extra £2. Parents can get up to £2000 government support per child per year towards their childcare costs - that's up to £500 every 3 months. If they have a disabled child, they can receive up to £4000 per child – a total of £1000 every 3 months. They can then use this money to pay their childcare provider.


Parents are usually eligible if all of the following apply:

Their child:

  • is under 12, or 17 if they're registered as having a disability
  • usually lives with them

They (and their partner, if they have one):

  • are 16 or over
  • live or work in the UK
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are over 21 and earn on average at least £120 a week, unless in their first year of self-employment. Different rates apply if they're under 21 or an apprentice
  • earn less than £100,000 a year each
  • don't get other support with their childcare, including from a childcare voucher or salary sacrifice scheme

They may also be eligible if they have a partner and one of them gets any of the following benefits:

  • Carers Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Severe Disablement Benefit

Parents will only be able to pay their childcare provider from their childcare account if their childcare provider is signed up to Tax-Free Childcare.

Parents can use Tax-Free Childcare alongside the 15 and 30 hours free childcare schemes in England, or any free childcare hours provided by the Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland governments, but they can't use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as they receive childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits.

While parents can't make payments using both Tax-Free Childcare and childcare vouchers, childcare providers who are signed up to Tax-Free Childcare can receive payments from both schemes.

So as a childcare provider, if you haven't already done so, you need to use this Government online service  to sign up to Tax-Free Childcare and get into your account to update your details.  You need to do this so that parents who've successfully applied for Tax-Free Childcare can make payments to you.

If you're the main contact for your business, you'll need to sign up yourself to set up your security credentials. As part of sign up, you'll get the chance to nominate a delegate to act on your behalf in future.  Signing up takes around 10 minutes.

If parents ask you for any further details or would like to sign up, you can signpost them to the childcare choices website (/  They can also check what help they could get with childcare costs, using the childcare calculator (



Published: 01/02/2018
Audience: Childcare providers
Contact: Families Information Service

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