Save money on your childcare bills with Tax-Free Childcare

 February 5, 2022   |   comments

If you’re a working parent or carer, you can get up to £500 every three months (up to £2,000 a year per child) to help with the costs of childcare. If your child has a disability, you can get up to £1,000 every three months (up to £4,000 a year per child). You can use it to pay for childcare including:• childminders, nurseries and nannies • playschemes, before and after school clubs, and holiday clubs.

How it works

You set up an online childcare account for your child. For every £8 you pay into this account, the government will pay in £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 a year (or £4,000 if your child has a disability). You can then use the money to pay your childcare provider. You need to reconfirm your eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare every three months. You’ll get a text reminder and it’s easy to do through your online childcare account.

Am I eligible?

Visit the Childcare Calculator at to compare the government’s childcare offers and check what works best for your family. To get Tax-Free Childcare, you need to be working at least 16 hours a week, earningat least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. This includes being:• self-employed• on maternity or parental leave• on sick leave or annual leave. Your child is eligible until the September after their 11th birthday, or until their 17th birthday if they have a disability. Each parent or carer can earn up to £100,000 per year and still be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare. Your eligibility doesn’t depend on how much tax you pay, so it won’t affect your income tax liability or any other tax, like VAT.

You can’t claim Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit or Universal Credit.

Childcare if you or your partner pay UK tax and complete an annual Self-Assessment tax return and foreign income page.

Find out more

To find out how much you could get towards your childcare costs and check whether you’re eligible, visit