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May 28th, 2018

Tax-Free Childcare Scheme

In 2017 the government introduced the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme. Working parents who have children under the age of 12 (or 17 if disabled) are able to open an online account for registered childcare. For every £8 parents put into this account, the government will put in an additional £2. This means working families will receive up to £2000 per child to help with childcare costs every year. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4000 per child.

To be eligible for this scheme, you and your partner must each earn at least £120 per week and below £100,000 per year. This scheme will help pay for Ofsted registered:

  • Nannies
  • Childminders
  • Nurseries

Outlined below the step by step guidelines for both the parents and the childcare provider as to how to apply for the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme.

How to register with Tax-Free Childcare Scheme if you are a parent

Make sure you have the following for you and your partner:

  1. Your National Insurance number
  2. If you are self-employed, your Unique Taxpayer Reference
  3. The date you started, or are due to start work
  4. Details of any other government support you receive
  5. Details of either your UK Passport, tax credits, P60 or a recent payslip
  6. Access to your mobile or landline number

If you do not have a Government Gateway account, you need to set one up by using this service. Please follow the link below:

For any further questions, please call the Childcare Service Support on 0300 123 4097.

Paying your nanny with Tax-Free Childcare

If you use your tax free childcare allowance to pay your nanny they will need to be Ofsted registered (see information on how to do this below) and you will need to be the official employer. Once registered with Ofsted and the childcare scheme your nanny will be paid from the account the government and your family have contributed funds towards.

As an employer you are required to register with HMRC as an employer and provide payslips and register and pay taxes for your nanny.

How Little Ones can help

For £22.50 per month Little Ones Payroll Service are able to assist you with HMRC registration, make your regulatory submissions to HMRC on your behalf, provide payslips and other documentation required of you as an employer.

For more information on the service from Little Ones please call 0207 183 6795.

How to register with Tax-Free Childcare Scheme if you are a child provider

Make sure you have the following:

  1. Your user ID from your sign up letter (Your user ID was on the letter inviting you to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare. If you have lost the letter, you will need to be sent a new one. Please contact the Childcare Service Support on 0300 123 4097.)
  2. Your business bank account details
  3. Your business' Unique Taxpayer Reference
  4. The postcode that your Unique Taxpayer Reference is registered to
  5. If you do not have a Unique Taxpayer Reference, your National Insurance number

To sign up you will also need to be registered with a regulator, for example Ofsted. Please follow the link below:

How to register with Ofsted for the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme as a childcare provider

If you are a Nanny or a family who have a Nanny who would like to become Ofsted registered in order to be eligible for the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme below is a step by step guide of what you will need, how to apply and how Little Ones can help.

What documents you will need

  1. Enhanced DBS check, signed up with the update service
  2. Ofsted compliant Paediatric First Aid course
  3. Ofsted compliant qualification in Early Years
  4. Health declaration form, that you have to fill in and get it signed by your GP. Your GP may charge for this.

How to apply

  1. Register as an individual with Government Gateway:
  2. Login to Ofsted Online with your Government Gateway number as your User ID and Government Gateway password:
  3. Choose the form for the register you need

Why register to join as a nanny

As a nanny, you will have to register on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register as "home childcare".


The registration fee for a nanny on Childcare register is £103.

Duration of the registration process

Registration usually takes up to 12 weeks from submitting your application to Ofsted.

How Little Ones can help

Little Ones provide training courses, specifically designed for childcarers. We can help you obtain the two qualifications you will need for the registration with Ofsted.

Our Paediatric First Aid course is a one day blended learning course, with 6 hours on site practical training and an online learning part, that students complete at home. The price for the course is £99.

Our Early Years Care and Education course is a one day course that follows the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and Common Core Skills and Knowledge for Ofsted Registration. The price is £189.

Nannies that would like to complete both courses with us can get a special package deal price of £260!

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