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11 years or under (tax-free childcare)

Parents who are working and have a child who is age 11 or under may be able to benefit from the government's Tax-Free Childcare scheme depending on their earnings. This scheme is available UK-wide and also applies to disabled children under 17.

The parent who applies will need to meet a residence requirement.

The residence requirement will be met if a parent has one of the following:

  • British or Irish citizenship
  • Settled or pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • A pending EU Settlement Scheme application
  • Immigration permission that allows access to public funds, such as indefinite leave to remain or refugee leave

When person has leave to remain that is subject to the 'No Recourse to Public Funds' (NRPF) condition, the residence requirement will not be met. Therefore if a single parent or both parents in a household have leave to remain with NRPF, the family will be unable to access tax-free childcare. 

In two-parent households, both parents must meet the requirements relating to employment and earnings but only one parent needs to meet the residence requirement. For example, if one parent is a British citizen and the other parent has leave to remain with NRPF, the British parent can make the application.  As government funded early education and childcare is not a 'public fund' for immigration purposes, a parent who has no recourse to public funds can be included in an application.

See the government information about the full eligibility requirements that the parent(s) must meet.