Tax-free childcare


You can apply for an online tax-free childcare account to help pay for childcare.

The benefits of a tax-free childcare account are:

  • for every £8 you pay in, the government will automatically add an extra £2
  • you get up to £2,000 of government support per child per year towards childcare costs
  • you can use the full balance of the account to pay for your childcare

You can pay up to 10 childcare providers from each tax-free childcare account – you will need to make a separate payment for each eligible child.

Other people such as family members and employers can also pay into your tax-free childcare account.

You can use tax-free childcare together with 15 or 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4 year-olds.


You can apply for tax-free childcare if your child is less than 12 years-old, or your child is disabled and less than 17 years-old and they're either:

  • receiving Disability Living Allowance
  • receiving a Personal Independence Payment
  • receiving an Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • severely sight-impaired

Go to GOV.UK: tax-free childcare for full details.

How much you could get

You can get an estimate of how much you could get to help pay for approved childcare. You’ll need information about you and your partner, if you have one, including:

  • how much you spend on childcare
  • any benefits you or your child get
  • your income

If you're getting childcare vouchers, you need to tell your employer within 3 months of applying for tax-free childcare so that they can stop giving you the vouchers.

You can use the government's online childcare calculator to work out if you'll be better off with tax-free childcare, before you apply and stop your tax credits, Universal Credit or child vouchers – go to GOV.UK: Childcare calculator