Tax-Free Childcare

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare.

The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child per year - that's up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child - that's up to £1,000 every three months.

Am I eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). 

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible. 

You can't get Tax-Free Childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

How can I benefit?

You can use Tax-Free Childcare all year round to help pay:

  • Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies
  • Registered after-school clubs and playschemes
  • Registered schools
  • Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency

You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as:

  • 15 hours funded childcare
  • 30 hours funded childcare

You can't use it with:

  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credits
  • Childcare Vouchers (now closed to new entrants)

Find out if tax-free childcare is right for you and how to make an application.

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