Tax-Free Childcare: A guide for parents

The Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare schemes are now open for applications. Working parents of children who will be under 4 on 31st August 2017 can now apply.

The current Childcare Voucher scheme is open to new entrants until April 2018.

Things parents should know:

  • 60% of parents will save more with Childcare Vouchers than with Tax-Free Childcare, depending on individual circumstances.
  • The HMRC website offers a joint registration for Tax-Free Childcare and Free Childcare Hours. You DO NOT have to sign up for both. You can apply for Free Childcare Hours and continue to receive Childcare Vouchers.
  • Tax-Free Childcare is per child, whereas Childcare Vouchers is per parent. Therefore joining Tax-Free Childcare is a joint decision. You cannot have one parent claiming Tax-Free Childcare and one parent receiving Childcare Vouchers.
  • If you decide to join Tax-Free Childcare, it is your responsibility to declare that you are no longer receiving Childcare Vouchers. You need to proactively cancel your voucher order with KiddiVouchers if you move to Tax-Free Childcare.
  • If you have a balance in your KiddiVouchers account you can still use these vouchers even if you have joined Tax-Free Childcare. Childcare Vouchers can be used until the September after your child’s 15th birthday (or 16th birthday if your child is disabled). Your Childcare Vouchers will not expire until your child ceases to be eligible for vouchers.
  • If you are a higher rate tax payer who joined Childcare Vouchers pre-April 2011, the HMRC website savings calculator may not calculate your savings correctly. The KiddiVouchers savings calculator on our website will calculate the correct savings for you.
  • If you receive any form of tax credits or universal credit, you will need to cancel these to join Tax Free Childcare.
  • Tax Free Childcare is generally better for parents with the highest current childcare costs. However, as your childcare costs to fall, for example due to Free Childcare Hours or because your child is starting school, you may save more with Childcare Vouchers.

Before making your decision, we strongly advise you to use our online savings calculator, knowing your savings will help make the right decision for you and your family.