Tax-free childcare

Tax Free Childcare is an online payment account, topped up by the Government, which parents use solely to pay for their childcare costs. For every £8 that families pay in, the Government will make a top-up payment of £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year (or £4,000 for disabled children).

Tax-Free Childcare is now available for children under 12 years old (under 17 years old for disabled children) and can be used to contribute towards nursery, childminder and after-school care fees. To be eligible, parents must be in work (including self-employment) and each earning at least £120 per week but no more than £100,000 per year.

Parents can apply for a childcare services account at: The childcare services account is a single online application for 30 hours funded childcare and tax-free childcare. For more detailed information go to

Tax free childcare compensation

If families have been unable to access tax free childcare through their childcare account for technical reasons, they may be able to claim compensation. They may be able to get the government top-up as a one-off payment. HMRC will also consider refunding any reasonable costs directly caused by their mistakes or unreasonable delays.

Families may be eligible for these payments if they have been unable to complete their tax free childcare, have been unable to access their childcare account, or if they have not received a decision about whether they are eligible, without an explanation, for more than 20 days.

To make a claim, families will just need to send their:

  • Name
  • Home Address
  • National Insurance Number
  • Copies of their receipts for payments to their childcare provider
  • Bank name, sort code and account number
  • A brief description of the issues they've had

To: Childcare Service, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1GR

If families are eligible for compensation, HMRC will write to them, and will make a payment directly into their bank account

Find out more.

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