Childcare providers: sign up and receive payments from Tax-Free Childcare

If you’re an approved or registered childcare provider you can sign up to receive payments from parents who use the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

There’s a different guide for Tax-Free Childcare if you’re a parent.

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

You’ll need your:

  • user ID from your invitation letter - if you didn’t get one, contact the helpline
  • bank account details
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), if you’re registered for Self Assessment or Corporation Tax
  • National Insurance number, if you’re a nanny

You sign up online. It takes around 10 minutes.

Your UTR is a 10-digit number you can find 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’re a charity, contact the helpline. If you’re a school run by your local authority, use their UTR and postcode - contact them to find out.

When you’ve signed up

Parents can find your details and make payments to you using their childcare account.

Payments should take 2 to 3 working days and will include any government top up (£2 for every £8 paid by the parent).

In your bank statement, each payment will include a reference number made up of:

  • 4 letters - the first initial and the first 3 letters of the surname of the child
  • 5 numbers, followed by ‘TFC’

For example, ‘AJON12345TFC’.

You’ll need to get this reference number from the parent when they pay you.

If you need to give a refund

Pay the money:

  • from the bank account that received the original payment
  • back to the childcare account that the original payment came from

Change your details

Sign in to your account to:

  • update your bank details
  • change whether someone else (your ‘delegate’) can manage your account for you

To change your email or address, contact your regulator (for example Ofsted). It can take up to 12 weeks for your account to update.