Could you get £2,000 every year for each of your children?

Tax-Free Childcare Scheme (TFCS)

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

You can get Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as 30 hours free childcare if you’re eligible for both.

What you can use Tax-Free Childcare for

You can use it to pay approved childcare, such as childminders, nurseries, nannies, after school clubs and play schemes but your childcare provider must be signed up to the scheme before you can pay them and benefit from Tax-Free Childcare.

If your child is disabled

You can use the Extra Tax-Free Childcare money you get to help pay for extra hours of childcare. You can also use it to help pay your childcare provider so they can get specialist equipment for your child such as mobility aids. Talk to them about what equipment your child can get.


What is the eligibility criteria?

  • Your child must be 11 or under and usually live with you. They stop being eligible on 1st September after their 11th birthday
  • If your child is disabled, then they must be 17 or under and usually live with you
  • Adopted children are eligible but foster kids are not
  • You must use an approved childcare provider who is set up to take payments through TFCS
  • You can be either employed or self-employed
  • You (or your partner, if you have one) must have a National Insurance Number and at least one the of following:
    1. British or Irish citizenship
    2. Settled or pre-settled status, or you have applied and you’re waiting for a decision
    3. You have permission to access public funds – your UK residence card will tell you if you cannot do this
  • You will need to earn, on average, at least the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage for at least 16 hours per week
  • If you have a partner, then they must do the same unless they receive:
    1. Incapacity benefit
    2. Severe Disablement Allowance
    3. Carer’s Allowance
    4. Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • You or your partner’s total ‘adjusted’ income’ must be no more than £100,000 for that tax year
  • You cannot be in receipt of:
    1. Working Tax Credit
    2. Child Tax Credit
    3. Universal Tax Credit
    4. Childcare vouchers
    5. Bursary or grant

Which scheme you’re better off with depends on your situation. Use the childcare calculator to work out which type of support is best for you

If you successfully apply for TFCS, your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit will stop straight away. You cannot apply for both. You must also tell your employer within 90 days of applying to stop your childcare vouchers and give HMRC evidence you’ve left your employer’s childcare voucher scheme such as a copy of the letter informing your employer you’re leaving the childcare voucher scheme or copies of your payslips showing your pay before and after you left the scheme.

If you need help working out your eligibility or ‘adjusted income’ please contact us on 01752 752210 or email

How does the TFCS operate?

You will need to open a TFCS for each child on the following link

If you have a partner, you need to decide who should apply if you are jointly responsible for your child.

Friends, family, employers etc. can make payments into the account, payments are not limited to the child’s parents

Need help or advice – call us on 01752 752210 or email

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