What is qualifying childcare?

Updated on 25 November 2017

The childcare will need to be registered or approved and childcare providers are given a letter or certificate confirming they are registered or approved. 

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 a relative is a registered childminder and looks after the child away from the child’s home, the childcare will qualify. If the care is provided in the child’s home, even if the 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 the 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.

A child will qualify under the scheme:

  • Until the 1st September following his or her 15th Birthday or
  • Until the 1st September following his or her 16th birthday if he or she is disabled.

A child is counted as disabled under the employer supported childcare scheme if they:

  • receive disability living allowance or personal independence payment (or these have been stopped because they are a patient),
  • are certified as severely sight impaired or blind by a consultant ophthalmologist or they ceased to be in the last 28 weeks. 

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