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Tax-Free Childcare FAQ
Tax-Free Childcare is available to around 2 million households to help with the cost of childcare. You can find out more about it and other Government support for childcare costs on the Childcare Choices website.
Families ask us all the time about accessing this service, so we thought we would pull together some of our most frequently asked questions to help point you in the right direction.
Will I be able to open an account online?
Yes, if you are eligible (you can confirm your eligibility on the Childcare Choices website), you will be taken step by step through setting up your online account. This account can then be used to pay your registered childcare provider directly.
How much of my childcare expenses are covered by this scheme?
For every 80p you or someone else pays in, the Government will top up an extra 20p. This is equivalent of the tax most people pay – 20% – which gives the scheme its name, ‘tax-free’. The Government will top up the account with 20% of childcare costs up to a total of £10,000 – the equivalent of up to £2,000 support per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).
Is there a cap on the age of my child?
The scheme is available for children up to the age of 12. It is also available for children with disabilities up to the age of 17, as their childcare costs can stay high throughout their teenage years.
Is there an earnings cap?
To qualify, parents will have to be in work, and each earning at least £120 a week and not more than £100,000 each per year. The scheme is designed to be flexible for parents if, for example, they want to get back to work after the birth of a child or work part-time.
Does my employer have to be part of the scheme?
Tax-Free Childcare doesn’t rely on employers offering the scheme, unlike the current scheme, Employer-Supported Childcare. Any eligible working family can use Tax-Free Childcare, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.
Is the scheme available for self-employed parents?
Yes, the scheme is available for parents who are self-employed.
*Information on this page is up to date at the time of publication. Please see Childcare Choices to find out more and apply.