Tax free childcare

Tax free childcare is a UK wide government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare.

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for children with a disability), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. This is a single online application for both funded childcare and tax free 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, or £4,000 if your child has a disability.

You can use it to help pay:

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

You can’t use Tax Free Childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. You can use it with the 15 hours and 30 hours free childcare schemes.

To apply for tax free childcare and/or 30 Hours funded Childcare or to check what other help you could get with childcare costs, visit Childcare Choices.

Schools and providers will need to sign up to receive payments from parents using this account. If you haven't signed up yet, visit Childcare providers sign up on GOV.UK.