Consultation outcome

Tax-Free Childcare

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Economic Insight: evaluating alternative market models for Tax-Free Childcare vouchers

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Detail of outcome

If you’re a parent and want to find out more about the Tax-Free Childcare scheme, here’s the top ten facts.

Tax-Free Childcare will provide 20% of working families’ childcare costs, up to £2,000 per year for each child.

This consultation response sets out more details of the scheme, due to launch in autumn 2015.

Economic Insight report

Economic Insight is an independent economic consultancy, specialising in competition and regulatory policy matters. During the consultation, the government asked them to consider whether there were any reasons why a competitive market for childcare accounts might not function effectively, compared to a closed market model in which there is competition to select a single or limited number of childcare account providers. The analysis set out in their report does not include the option that has been announced in the consultation response document. Tax-Free Childcare will be delivered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), using National Savings and Investment (NS&I).

Original consultation


This consultation seeks views on the government’s plans to introduce Tax-Free Childcare for working families and additional assistance with childcare for parents through Universal Credit.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

At Budget 2013 the government announced that it will introduce a new Tax-Free Childcare scheme for working families. Tax-Free Childcare will provide 20 per cent of working families’ childcare costs, up to £1,200 for each child.

This consultation invites interested parties to comment on the detailed design and operation of Tax-Free Childcare. It sets out the eligibility criteria, the approach to managing voucher accounts for each child, the role of the market, and the key information and validation processes. It discusses the design of different aspects of these policies, and poses questions in those areas where stakeholders are likely to have knowledge or insight. The answers that the government receives to these questions will feed into the final design of Tax-Free Childcare.


Tax-Free Childcare: consultation on design and operation

Published 5 August 2013
Last updated 11 June 2014 + show all updates
  1. Correction made to ISBN 978-1-909790-12-4 and operation and ISBN 978-1-909790-74-2

  2. Response to consultation published

  3. Updated information about the consultation to include links to surveys for both childcare providers and employers to respond to.

  4. First published.