The following schemes are closed to new applicants:
- childcare vouchers
- childcare your employer arranges with a provider (known as ‘directly contracted childcare’)
If you joined one of these schemes on or before 4 October 2018 you might be able to keep getting vouchers or directly contracted childcare.
If you joined a childcare voucher scheme or a directly contracted childcare scheme on or before 4 October 2018
You can keep getting vouchers or directly contracted childcare as long as:
- your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
- you stay with the same employer and they continue to run the scheme
- you do not take an unpaid career break of longer than a year
You can take up to £55 a week of your wages, which you do not pay tax or National Insurance on.
How much you can take depends on the amount you earn and when you joined the scheme.
If the business you work for changes owner, your employee rights are usually protected. Check with your new employer if you can still get vouchers or directly contracted childcare.
If you get Tax-Free Childcare
You cannot continue to claim childcare vouchers or directly contracted childcare if you successfully apply for Tax-Free Childcare.
Which scheme you’re better off with depends on your situation. Use the childcare calculator to work out which type of support is best for you.
You must tell your employer within 90 days if you get Tax-Free Childcare. They’ll then stop giving you new vouchers or directly contracted childcare.
You can continue to use any vouchers you already have, including to make a joint payment for childcare with Tax-Free Childcare. There’s no deadline for using your vouchers or directly contracted childcare.
Once you’ve told your employer that you’re getting Tax-Free Childcare, you cannot rejoin their voucher scheme or their directly contracted childcare scheme.
Tax and employer childcare schemes
You do not have to pay tax and National Insurance on:
- childcare vouchers, if you joined a scheme and your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
- directly contracted childcare, if you joined a scheme and your wages were adjusted on or before 4 October 2018
- workplace nurseries
You must pay tax and National Insurance on:
- cash your employer gives you to pay for childcare
- childcare provider’s fees your employer pays
- school fees your employer pays