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.
You can only sign up for tax-free childcare if you're a childcare provider registered or approved by OFSTED
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:
When you sign up for tax-free childcare, you'll need:
If you didn't receive, or have lost your sign up letter, contact the childcare service helpline on 0300 123 4097.
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.
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.
Once you've signed up to tax-free childcare, parents can use the childcare provider checker to search for you, using your:
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.