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Tax-Free Childcare – information for parents and carers

Tax-Free Childcare is for working families to help towards the costs of childcare.

You can get up to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

How does it work?

  • For every £8 you pay into your online account, the government will pay in £2. This means you can get up to £2,000 per year for each child towards the cost of childcare (or up to £4,000 per year if your child is disabled).

  • This money can then be used to pay for childcare, such as a childminder, nursery or nannie. It can also be used to pay for before and after school and holiday clubs, as long as they are regulated childcare providers that have signed up for this scheme. For a list of approved providers, please contact Westminster Family Information Service.

You can apply if you:

  • Have a child aged 0-11 years old (or until 16 if they are disabled)

  • Earn less that £100,000 per year and at least £167 per week (current National Living Wage) and your partner, if you have one does too

It may still be possible for you to apply for Tax-Free Childcare given your individual circumstances. For the current list of eligibility criteria please visit Tax-Free Childcare

Important points to consider:

  • If your child is under 5 years old and receiving 15 or 30 hours funded early education and childcare, you can claim for Tax-Free Childcare too.

  • You cannot claim Tax-Free Childcare if you are claiming Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers. If you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare, your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit will stop straight away. You cannot apply for them again. Which scheme you’re better off with depends on your situation. Use the childcare calculator to work out which type of support is best for you. For more information visit Tax-Free Childcare - GOV.UK
    The following diagram explains how the different schemes work: Childcare Overview (

  • You must confirm your details are up to date every 3 months. Do this through your childcare account

How to apply:

Ready to apply? Follow the step-by-step guide to confirm your eligibility and make an application at Get Tax-Free Childcare: step by step - GOV.UK (

Already have an account? Sign in to your childcare account


Last Updated 05/11/2023

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