Find out more about Tax-Free Childcare for childcare providers

Overview

From early 2017 working parents eligible for Tax-Free Childcare can set up an online Tax-Free Childcare account to pay for their childcare.

For every £8 a parent pays into their Childcare Account, the government adds an extra £2. Parents could get up to £2,000 per child per year towards their childcare costs, or up to £4,000 for a child with a disability.

Parents will only be able to pay you from their new childcare account if you are already signed up to Tax-Free Childcare.

While parents can't make payments using both Tax-Free Childcare and childcare vouchers, childcare providers who are signed up to Tax-Free Childcare can receive payments from both schemes.

Signing up for Tax-Free Childcare

You can only sign up for Tax-Free Childcare if you're a childcare provider registered or approved by a UK regulatory authority.

If you're a registered or approved childcare provider

You'll receive a letter inviting you to sign up to Tax-Free Childcare. This letter contains your user ID. You'll need your user ID to:

  • sign up for Tax-Free Childcare
  • sign in to your account
  • if you call the childcare service helpline

When you sign up for Tax-Free Childcare, you'll need:

  • your bank account details (the account you'll use to receive payments from parents)
  • if you're running a business, your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR). This is your childcare business UTR. You can find your UTR on any HM Revenue and Customs communications, for example, your tax statement, a payment reminder or by signing into your Personal Tax Account. Click here if you can't find your UTR
  • if you're a nanny, your National Insurance number

Lost or missing invitation sign up letter

If you didn't receive, or have lost your sign up letter, contact the childcare service helpline on 0300 123 4097.

Managing your account

Using your account is quick and easy. You can use it to: change your delegate information update your bank account details

If you don't want to run your own account, you can give access to someone else (your delegate), who'll be able to manage your account on your behalf, including updating your details in that account.

How to change your details with your regulator

You can change your email address easily, by telling your regulator. The details in your Tax-Free Childcare account will be automatically updated.

To change your address you must tell your regulator. This can take up to 12 weeks to update. Once your regulator updates your address, your Tax-Free Childcare account will update automatically to show your new details. You don't have to do anything else. You should change your email address in the same way.

How parents can find you

Once you've signed up to Tax-Free Childcare, parents can use the childcare provider checker to search for you, using your:

  • name (the name you registered with your regulatory authority); or
  • address or postcode; or
  • regulator reference, for example, if you've registered with OFSTED this will be your Unique Reference Number (URN)

How parents make payments to you

Parents can use their Childcare Account to make regular or one-off payments direct to your bank account. The payment should only take 2 to 3 working days to arrive in your bank account. When you receive a payment from a parent, this will include both their payment and the government contribution.

Tax-Free Childcare payments have a reference number of 4 letters and 5 numbers, followed by 'TFC'. The letters are made up of the first initial and the first 3 letters of the surname of the parent making the payment. For example, AJON12345TFC. This will help you link the payment to the child you provide childcare for.