Tax-Free Childcare is a new UK-wide government scheme to help working parents with the cost of childcare, and can be used to pay for:
- Registered childminders
- Day nurseries
- School based care (that is paid for, such as after-school clubs)
Parents who are eligible will be able to open an online childcare account. This childcare account can only be used by parents to pay for registered childcare, but only if their childcare provider has signed up to the scheme. For every 80p parents pay into this account, the government will pay in an additional 20p (up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children).
As a provider, you can only accept Tax-Free Childcare if you have signed up. If you are a registered childcare provider, you will receive a letter inviting you to sign up. This letter will contain your User ID, you will need this User ID to:
- Sign up for Tax-Free Childcare
- Sign in to your account
- If you call the Childcare Service helpline
Once you have signed up, parents can use the childcare provider checker to search for you. Parent’s will be able to use their Childcare Account to make regular or one-off payments directly into your bank account. The payment you receive will include their payment and the government contribution. All Tax-Free Childcare payments will have a unique reference number consisting of 4 letters, 5 numbers followed by ‘TFC’ (AAAA11111TFC), which will help you link the payment to child you provide childcare for.