Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

Use this service to apply for a childcare account.

You can use your account to pay your childcare provider.

You’ll need your details (and your partner’s, if you have one), including your:

  • National Insurance number
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re self-employed

It takes 20 minutes to apply.

You can pay your provider with money from your account once the money is shown as ‘cleared funds’. Payments should show in your provider’s account within 24 hours, depending on their bank.

As part of your application, you’ll find out if you’re eligible for Tax-Free Childcare. If you live in England, you’ll also find out if you’re eligible for 30 hours free childcare. You may find out straight away, but it can take up to 7 days.

Start now

  1. Step 1 Check you're eligible

  2. Step 2 Check if you'll be better off

    Your tax credits will stop immediately if you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare. You will also have to cancel your Universal Credit and childcare vouchers.

    Before you apply, check if it's the right option for you.

    1. Check if you'll be better off
  3. Step 3 Apply for Tax-Free Childcare

    There's one application for Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare. As part of your application, you will find out if you can get both.

    1. You are currently viewing: Apply online for Tax-Free Childcare

    If you're eligible you'll get a childcare account. You can use this to pay your childcare provider.

  4. Step 4 Sign in to your account to pay your childcare provider

  5. and Reconfirm your details every 3 months

    You must confirm your details are up to date every 3 months.

    1. Sign in to your childcare account to confirm your details