Tax Free Childcare | GOV.UK

What is tax free childcare?

Tax Free Childcare is a bank account set up in each of your children’s names which you use to pay for your childcare costs.  For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to maximum of £2000 per year – that’s up to £500 every 3 months. 


Who is eligible

You will be eligible for Tax Free Childcare if you (and your partner if you have one) are:

  • in work or getting parental, sick or annual leave
  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage for 16 hours per week
  • earning under £100,000 per year
  • if you are not working, you may still be eligible if your partner is working and you get Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

Your child must be between the age of 0-11 years old (or under 17 years of age if they are disabled).

Please note: your child will stop being eligible for Tax Free Childcare on the 1st September after they turn 11 years old.

You cannot get Tax-Free childcare at the same time as claiming Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers.  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.


How to apply

You can apply now for Tax Free Childcare if your child was born after 24th November 2011, or is disabled via  For older children, you will need to register your details and you will receive an email informing you when to apply.

You will need to re-confirm your eligibility for Tax Free Childcare every 3 months by logging into your government gateway account. 

Please Note: If you are eligible for Tax Free Childcare, you will also be eligible for 30 hours nursery funding for 3 and 4 year olds.

Who to contact

Scan to visit this website

Related Links

10 things parents should know about tax free childcare
Childcare Choices (GOV.UK)


Save to Shortlist

Last Updated

Last updated:

Skip back to top of page