Skip to main content
Updated on 6 April 2024

Employer-supported childcare: qualifying childcare costs

Childcare vouchers can only be used to pay for childcare from a registered or approved provider.

A pink piggy bank surrounded by children's items.

Content on this page:

Your vouchers can only be used to pay for childcare from a registered or approved provider and childcare providers are given a letter or certificate confirming they are registered or approved. You can find out more about what registered childcare means in HMRC’s guidance.

The rules for claiming childcare vouchers changed from 4 October 2018, see our childcare vouchers page for more information.

There are special rules if your child is looked after by a relative. A relative includes a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister whether by blood, half blood, marriage, civil partnership or affinity (for example, a partner).

If your relative is a registered childminder and looks after your child away from the child’s home, the childcare will qualify. If the care is provided in your child’s home, even if your relative is a registered childminder, it is excluded and you cannot claim childcare vouchers.

If your relative is an approved childcare provider in Northern Ireland or Wales, the childcare can be qualifying if it is provided away from your child’s home and the relative also cares for at least one other non-related child. Childcare provided by foster carers, foster parents and kinship carers is generally excluded.

For more information on what qualifying childcare is, see HMRC's guidance.

Back to top