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Updated on 6 April 2023

Childcare vouchers: interactions with other schemes

Each childcare scheme has different qualifying rules and often the amount you receive can be different. Sometimes if you claim help from one scheme, that can stop you claiming help from other schemes or it may reduce the amount you can claim. You may need to work out which scheme is best for you. This page explains how the childcare vouchers interact with other childcare schemes. 

Content on this page:

Tax credits and childcare vouchers

For information on how tax credits and vouchers interact, please see our tax credits childcare support section.

Universal credit and childcare vouchers

For information on how universal credit and vouchers interact, please see our universal credit childcare support section.

Tax-free childcare and childcare vouchers

Tax-free childcare (TFC) is a childcare scheme that was designed to replace childcare vouchers and directly contracted childcare support from employers.

The tax and national insurance relief associated with childcare vouchers and directly-contracted childcare was withdrawn for new joiners from 4 October 2018. Certain people who signed up before that date are eligible to continue receiving the relief. See our childcare vouchers page for more information.

You cannot benefit under both schemes at the same time. If you are currently claiming childcare vouchers/directly-contracted childcare and you have given your employer a ‘Childcare Account Notice’ (explaining your intention to claim TFC instead and leave the voucher scheme) you can no longer claim the tax and national insurance relief associated with childcare vouchers and directly-contracted childcare.

Even if you subsequently leave the TFC scheme and meet the conditions for continuing to benefit from the tax and national insurances relief on childcare vouchers or directly-contracted childcare, you cannot re-join their voucher scheme.

Free childcare and vouchers

You can use vouchers in conjunction with the 15/30 free childcare hours offer, to help pay for any childcare costs over and above the 15/30 free hours for example.

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