In April 2017 HMRC started rolling out tax-free childcare, a scheme designed to help working parents with the cost of childcare with up to £2,000 of support per child per year, or £4,000 for disabled children. The scheme is now open (from 15 January 2018) to parents whose youngest child is under 9, or who turned 9 on that date. All remaining eligible families with children under 12 can apply from 14 February 2018. This means that all eligible parents will have the opportunity to apply for tax-free childcare before the end of the current financial year.
Parents, including the self-employed, can apply online for tax-free childcare by visiting the Childcare Choices website. Parents can also access the government's childcare calculator through the website, which is designed to help them choose which government childcare support is best for them.
According to Government reports, since opening the childcare service, through which parents apply for 30 hours free childcare and tax-free childcare, more than 325,000 individuals have successfully applied and are now using the service. Of these, more than 170,000 have opened a tax-free childcare account.