Tax-free childcare and childcare vouchers

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 pay £2 for every £8 you pay your childcare provider via an online account. You can get up to £500 every 3 months, £2,000 a year, for each of your children to help with the costs of childcare.

Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers are now closed to new applicants. If you joined the scheme on or before 4 October 2018 you might be able to keep getting vouchers.

You can keep getting vouchers as long as:

  • your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
  • you stay with the same employer and they continue to run the scheme
  • you do not take an unpaid career break of longer than a year

You can take up to £55 a week of your wages, which you do not pay tax or National Insurance on.

How much you can take depends on the amount you earn and when you joined the scheme.

Tax-related benefits

You cannot use tax- free childcare and claim working tax credits or universal credit at the same time as they are both tax-related benefits. Use the Childcare Calculator to see which government offer would benefit you most.

15 hours and 30 hours funded childcare

You can use tax-free childcare alongside the funded childcare offers for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

How to apply

You can check your eligibility and apply at any time on the Childcare Choices website.  

Further information

For further information, please contact your childcare provider or visit Childcare Choices.