Tax-free Childcare for Little Owls and Hoots families with children under 12

This scheme was introduced in 2018 and so far, is not being readily accessed by a large majority of our families. You could be missing out on assisted help towards your child care fees. We have created this document to help assist you with further information on the scheme.

The main advantage for our families is that for every £8.00 you place into a special account at the Government-backed NS&I, the Government will add £2.00 up to a total of £8,000 per child per year. This equated up to £2,000 being added by the Government towards your own childcare costs.

You can only access this if you work more than 16 hours a week (or both of you do, if a couple) and neither earns over £100,000 per year. The main advantage is this is nothing to do with your employer, so those who could not access this scheme before, including the self-employed, you may now be eligible. If you are not taking advantage of this scheme we would strongly urge you to visit to find out what you might be entitled to.

The website provides the following information for families. Please have a read below and then visit the website for further information on how to apply.

If you’re a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare.

The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child per year – that’s up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child – that’s up to £1,000 every three months.

Am I eligible?

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage).

If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you’re unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

You cannot claim Tax-Free Childcare if either you, or your partner, each individually expect to earn £100,000 or more.

How can I benefit?

You can use Tax-Free Childcare all year round to help pay:

· Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies

· Registered after-school clubs and play schemes

· Registered schools

· Home care workers working for a registered home care agency

You can use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as:

· 15 hours childcare

· 30 hours childcare

You can’t use it with:

· Universal Credit

· Tax Credits

· Childcare Vouchers (closed to new entrants)