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Tax-free childcare for 0-11 year olds

Tax-free childcare is for working parents of children from 0 -11 years old (0 -16 years old for disabled children).

  • For every £8 paid into an account, the Government will add £2 (£4 for a disabled child), up to £2,000 per year per child (£4,000 for disabled children).
  • Parents pay the childcare provider from their account.
school children running

Helping working parents save on childcare costs

Tax-free childcare is a Government scheme to help eligible working families save on their childcare costs, including the self-employed. 

Tax-free childcare is for parents of children from 0-11 years old (0-16 years old for disabled children).

How does it work?

Eligible working parents and carers can open online childcare accounts to pay registered childcare providers directly. It works in a similar way to an online bank account.

This can amount to £500 every 3 months (up to £2,000 a year) for each child to help with the costs of childcare. This goes up to £1,000 every 3 months if a child is disabled (up to £4,000 a year).

For every £8 paid into an account, the Government will add £2 (£4 for a disabled child), and up to the total amount in the account can be paid to a childcare provider.

The maximum that can be paid into an account each year is £8,000 and the maximum that will be received from the Government is £2,000 (£4,000 for disabled children).

Parents can open an individual account for each child they pay childcare for. For example, if you have three children, you can open three tax-free childcare accounts and deposit up to £8,000 into each.

Only a parent or carer can set up a tax-free childcare account. Parents, friends, family and employers can then deposit money into the account.

For further information visit Childcare Choices and Tax-Free Childcare - GOV.UK (

Tax-Free Childcare replaces the Employer Childcare Voucher schemes which is no longer open to new applicants. Parents (employees) control the Tax-Free Childcare rather than employers signing up to voucher schemes.