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Tax Free Childcare for working parents

Tax free child care is availble to eligible working families with children under the age of 12, (or 17 for children with a disability), with the costs of early education and/or childcare costs up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 per child per year for children with a disability.

Who may be eligible for Tax Free Childcare?

Families who: 

  • Are two parent family with both parents working or a single parent family who works
  • Have children under 12 or under 17 for disabled children.
  • Have an average weekly income of £115 or earn no more than £100,000 a year each
  • Do not receive Tax Credits, Universal Credit or Childcare Vouchers 

Check what help you could get with childcare costs, and which support might be best for you, using the childcare calculator.

The following link provides further information that parents should know about Tax Free Childcare 

Tax Free Childcare - 10 things parents should know (GOV.UK)

Apply for Tax Free Childcare

In order to apply for Tax Free Childcare, parents must apply for a Childcare Service account, it is a single application for both Tax Free childcare and the 30 hours childcare scheme.  Sign up, including identity verification will take around 20 minutes.


Before you start your application

Check whether your childcare provider is signed up for Tax-Free Childcare, using the search for a childcare provider link.

Check what help you could get with childcare costs, and which support might be best for you, using the childcare calculator.

Make sure you have (for you and your partner, if you have one):

  • your National Insurance number
  • If you are self-employed, your Unique Taxpayer Reference).  You are sent a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) when you first register for Self Assessment. Your UTR is on notices to file a tax return or payment reminders sent to you by HM Revenue and Customs. Look for a 10-digit number, sometimes with a letter 'K' on the end. It's sometimes just called 'tax reference'.
  • the date you started, or are due to start work
  • details of any other government support you get

Making your application and next steps

Apply now via the link Childcare Service.

Most parents will be informed straight away if they are eligible for Tax Free childcare.  Some parents may be required to provider further information before their account set up is completed.

Once registered for the Childcare Service, parents can:

  • view all your children's Tax-Free Childcare accounts in one place
  • confirm you're still eligible for Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare
  • start paying into your children's Tax-Free Childcare accounts and
  • use it to pay for childcare costs
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