How we will use your information to deliver Tax-Free Childcare and Free Childcare for Working Parents.

HMRC and National Savings and Investment (NS&I), our delivery partner, are the joint Data Controllers for Tax-Free Childcare. HMRC is the Data Controller for Free Childcare for Working Parents.

This privacy notice explains how we collect and use personal information to deliver Tax-Free Childcare and Free Childcare for Working Parents. This in accordance with data protection law, including the UK General Data Protection Regulations (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 2018.

The Childcare Payments Act 2014 (the main regulations under this Act are The Childcare Payments Regulations 2015 and The Childcare Payments (Eligibility) Regulations 2015) and The Childcare Act 2016 (The main regulations under this Act is the Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations 2016) set out the main legal basis that HMRC relies on to process your personal data Additionally, we rely on the following legal bases for processing your personal data under the UK GDPR:

  • Article 6(1)(c) (processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which HMRC is subject, such as verifying your eligibility or identity)
  • Article 6(1)(e) (processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in HMRC, such as the delivery of the Childcare Services policy)

What information we collect and why we use your personal information:

If you’re a parent:

We'll only gather information we need to establish your eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare and Free Childcare for Working Parents. This includes:

  • you and your partner's (if you have one) name, date of birth employment status and income, National Insurance number
  • you and your partner's (if you have one) entitlement to benefits, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits and Universal Credits
  • your child(s) or children's age and identity
  • your immigration status, including through the EU Settlement Scheme (settled or pre-settled) if you are not a UK or Irish National
  • your contact details including address, phone number, email address
  • nominated bank details
  • special category data – for children and parents (including disabilities, criminal records i.e. the HMP address for some parents). You can read more here HMRC appropriate Policy document - GOV.UK (

The data you provide will be used to assess your eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare and if you live in England, the eligibility of your child(ren) for Free Childcare for Working Parents. Eligibility decisions are made in real-time. Where this is not possible you will be informed and asked to provide further information, as required.

When you sign up to either scheme, you will receive a childcare account. You will use this to:

  • obtain your eligibility code, which you give to your childcare provider to reserve your child's Free Childcare for Working Parents place
  • pay your childcare provider, with the funds from your childcare account
  • reconfirm your eligibility for Tax-Free Childcare and/or Free Childcare for Working Parents (you must do this every 3 months)

If you’re a Childcare Provider

We'll use your information to set up a Childcare Provider account to enable you to receive Tax-Free Childcare payments. This includes:

  • your childcare provider 'Unique Reference Number' (given to you by your regulator, for example, Ofsted)
  • your Regulator number (obtained from Ofsted/other regulators)
  • your business address (this may be the same as your personal address)
  • a primary contact name and contact email for your business
  • your business bank details (this may be the same as your personal bank details)

We'll gather data & information to confirm whether your business is an approved or registered Childcare Provider.

If you’re a child

The UK law regards anyone under the age of 18 to be a child. It is necessary for your parents or legal guardians to provide information about you to HMRC so that we can handle their claim for Tax-Free Childcare and Free Childcare for Working Parents. This information will include:

  • your name
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • address
  • any benefits you receive
  • your nationality
  • details of your legal guardians

The personal data they provide about you will be protected by HMRC and its delivery partners and only kept for as long as is required to manage and pay tax-free childcare to your parents or legal guardians.

If you're over 12 and live in Scotland or over 13 and live in the UK and Wales, you can request a copy of your personal data from HMRC by making a Subject Access Request

Data Sharing

As explained in the HMRC Privacy Notice we may also share your details with other government departments (for example the Department of Work & Pensions, Scottish Government, Department of Education, Home Office, delivery partners or suppliers) for the purposes of enabling, assisting or conducting research on the delivery of Tax-Free Childcare and/or Free Childcare for Working Parents. We may also share your details if the law permits us to do so. For example, for the prevention or detection of crime and the protection of public funds.

There is further information on how HMRC uses data for research.

Transaction monitoring

In order to protect your data and our services HMRC operates transaction monitoring capabilities. This records how you connect to our systems, and what you do whilst you are on them. Read more information in our Transaction Monitoring Privacy Notice.

Handling your data

We are committed to keeping all the information we hold about you secure, private and confidential. We will only retain your personal information for as long as it’s necessary for us to do so for the purposes for which we are using it and in line with our published records management and retention and disposal policy.

When we no longer have a legitimate or lawful need to keep your personal information, we will delete it.

Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction

You have a number of rights in relation to the processing of your personal information by HMRC, which includes automated decision making to determine your eligibility.

Contact HMRC or make a Complaint

HMRC has appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO), to oversee compliance with its data protection obligations.

You can contact us if you have questions about this privacy notice or how HMRC handles your personal information.

If you want to request a copy of your personal data follow HMRC's subject access request guidance.

You should follow the existing complaints process if you want to complain about HMRC.

You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) , the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice will be periodically reviewed and updated.