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30 Hours Tax Free Childcare

How to apply for 30 hours childcare and Tax-Free Childcare

This short guide for parents sets out the steps to apply for 30 hours childcare and Tax-Free Childcare. For more information on the schemes please visit: htt...


Click on this icon to take you through to Childcare Choices 

30 Hours Eligibility 


30 hours free childcare

All 3 and 4-year-olds in England already get 15 hours a week, or 570 hours a year of free early education. If their parents are living and working in England, 3 and 4-year-olds may be entitled to 30 hours free childcare. An extra 570 hours of free childcare a year, so 1140 hours in total. 

The eligibility criteria are the same as the ones for Tax-Free Childcare, except you can continue to get these types of support at the same time as 30 hours free childcare:

  • tax credits
  • Universal Credit
  • childcare vouchers or salary sacrifice schemes
  • childcare grants and bursaries

When you apply, you'll be confirming that you need childcare so that you and your partner, if you have one, can work. If your child's already in a full-time reception class in a state funded school, you won't be eligible for 30 hours free childcare.

Get an estimate of how much you could get to help pay for approved childcare.

You’ll need information about you and your partner (if you have one), including:

  • how much you spend on childcare
  • any benefits you or your child get
  • your income

It should take around 10 minutes to get an estimate.

Apply or sign in to the childcare service as a parent

You can either apply for Tax-Free Childcare or 30 hours free childcare or sign into your childcare service account. It's one single application but HMRC will check your eligibility for both.

Applying should take around 20 minutes.


Before you start

Check what help you could get with childcare costs, and which support might be best for you, using the childcare calculator.

Make sure you have (for you and your partner, if you have one):

  • your National Insurance number
  • if you're self-employed, your Unique Taxpayer Reference

  • the date you started, or are due to start work
  • details of any other government support you get

If you would like any further assistance, you can contact the please speak to the school office.

Alternatively, you can call the HMRC contact centre on 0300 123 4097.