Tax-Free Childcare: Are you eligible and how can you benefit?

If you are a working parent with children aged 11 or under you may be entitled to Tax-Free Childcare.

Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme which allows you to open an online childcare savings account; the government will then pay £2 for every £8 you pay into the account. The account can be used to then pay for up to £10,000 of childcare per child a year, giving you a boost of up to £2,000 per child.

How can you Benefit?

The Tax-Free Childcare account can be used to help pay registered childminders and nurseries. However, the options go further than this, there are also registered after school clubs, play schemes, holiday clubs, and summer camps which can be paid for through the incentive.

You can check if a childcare provider is approved or search for one here.


To be able to join the incentive you (and your partner, if you have one) must:

  • Earn a minimum of £131 per week (if self-employed with varied income, as long as your three-monthly average equates to £131 per week you will able to apply)
  • Earn less than £100,000 per year

You cannot claim Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as claiming Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit or childcare vouchers. If you are already claiming one of these and you think you could be better off using Tax-Free Childcare, then there is a calculator that helps you assess what would be more beneficial for you here.

You can however use tax free childcare at the same time as 15 and 30 hours free childcare.