All eligible parents who’s youngest child is under 12 can now apply for Tax Free Childcare.
Tax-Free Childcare is a government scheme to help parents with the cost of childcare; allowing parents to work, or work more, if they want to. Parents can apply for Tax-Free Childcare online – reducing their childcare costs by up to £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children.
You each must be earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £125.28 (£131.36 in tax year 2019/20) if you’re 25 or over.
This earnings limit does not apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.
You’re not eligible if:
- your child does not usually live with you
- the child is your foster child
- either you or your partner has a taxable income over £100,000
- you’re from outside the EEA and your UK residence card says you cannot access public funds
The money can go towards a whole range of regulated childcare, whether nurseries, childminders, after-school clubs or holiday clubs. Parents and employers can find out what help is available on the Childcare Choices website. This website includes a Childcare Calculator that compares all the government’s childcare offers to check what works best for individual families.
Parents in England can also apply for 30 hours free childcare through the same online application, and should make sure they do so in good time for the next term.
Updated: 14 February 2019