Fair care news

Tax Free Childcare starts 28th April

Government has confirmed that Tax-Free Childcare will be introduced on 28 April, and will then be gradually rolled out over 2017. Parents of children under two will be invited to enter the scheme first.

The new Childcare Choices website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk provides information about the new scheme, as well as other existing Government childcare offers. Parents can pre-register for email alerts that will notify them when they can apply for Tax-Free Childcare.

The website includes the Childcare Calculator www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator for parents to compare the government’s childcare offers and check what works best for their families.

The current Childcare Voucher Scheme remains open for new entrants until April 2018, and will continue to operate after that date for those in the scheme. To benefit from Childcare Vouchers after April 2018, employees will need to join before April 2018.  Employees can join for as little as £10 per month and increase later.

If you would like us to help you with communicating the Tax-Free Childcare and Childcare Voucher Scheme changes to your employees directly, please contact the Fair Care team on 0800 652 4745, or email us at enquiries@faircare.co.uk.

Close to 750,000 employees currently benefit from childcare vouchers, helping parents meet the cost of childcare in a wide range of settings. 

 Summary of the schemes:


Childcare Voucher Scheme

Tax Free Childcare Scheme

Joining the scheme

Via your employer

Via the government website


Now until April 2018 when it will be closed to new entrants. Current members can continue

Will be rolled out throughout 2017 with   staged child eligibility with youngest first


Parents can take up to £243 worth of vouchers pcm saving Tax and NI, worth up to £1,866 per year if both parents work

For every 80p you pay into your account, the government will contribute 20p (up to a max £2,000 per child, per year)

Eligibility of Child

Available for children up to the age of 15 (16 if disabled)

Available for children up to the age of 12 (17 if disabled)

Parents eligibility

Only requires 1 parent to work to qualify however cannot be self employed


Parents cannot be in receipt of tax credits, and both parents must work to be eligible (unless single parent) - can be self-employed.

Income Criteria

Parents who earn above the National Minimum Wage are eligible

Each parent must work and earn at least £115pw (upper limit £100,000 income/ earnings)