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Free Early Education and Childcare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds

Tax-free childcare - information for providers

Tax-free childcare information


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 (Employer) 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 will need to sign up to receive payments from parents. You must be a regulated or approved childcare provider to receive Tax-Free Childcare

Some providers will have already relieved a letter inviting them to sign up.  If you have not yet registered you will need the following information to apply:

You’ll need your:

  • bank account details

Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re registered for Self-Assessment or Corporation Tax.  Your UTR is a 10-digit number which can be found on previous tax returns. If your business is owned by another company, use their UTR and postcode.  If you don’t have a UTR and you are a charity, contact the helpline on 0300 123 4097


If you’re a school run by your local authority, you should contact their finance team to find out their UTR and postcode and use that to sign up.

  • National Insurance number, if you are a nanny

You can sign up  online it usually takes around 10 minutes 

You should be the main contact for your business to sign up, but you can nominate someone else to manage your account for you.

To register with a regulator can take up to 12 weeks. If you aren’t, do so now, so that your customers can pay you using Tax-Free Childcare. For registration timelines, please check the appropriate regulator’s website.

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 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);
  • address or postcode;
  • regulator reference.  For example, if you are registered with OFSTED this will be your Unique Reference Number (URN)

How parents make payments to you

Parents can use their Tax-Free 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 a specific child.


Coventry Early Years Team


Tel: 024 7697 5451

PO Box 15
Coventry City Council
Council House

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