How to use Tax-Free Childcare

For every £8 you pay in, the government will automatically add £2, up to the value of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

Check you’re eligible

You can't use Tax-Free Childcare together with Tax Credits, Universal Credit Childcare or Childcare Vouchers.

Find out if you are eligible

Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

If eligible, you'll get an online childcare account.

Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

Select your childcare provider(s)

Your childcare provider(s) must sign up to receive Tax-Free Childcare payments.

Pay money into your Childcare Account

You can deposit money into your childcare account using a debit card, but it’s quicker by standing order or bank transfer. We’ll add the government top up automatically and you can use this money when it shows as ‘available’.

Pay your childcare provider(s)

Use the money in your childcare account, including the government top up, to make one off or regular payments to your childcare provider(s).


To continue getting the government top-up, you must confirm your details are up to date every 3 months.

You will receive a reminder to do this.