Tax-Free Childcare: Responsibility for the child

The claimant must, at the date of declaration, be responsible for the relevant child as part of the eligibility conditions. In this section, we explain who is a relevant child and what responisbility means for TFC.

Who is a relevant child?

Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) top-ups are paid per child. The claimant needs to be responsible for the child at the date of declaration. In this case, a relevant child simply means the child who the claimant is trying to open a childcare account for or a child who they already had an account on.

TFC can only be claimed for children who qualify, which means:

We explain more about qualifying children in our 'qualifying children' section.

Being responsible for a child or young person

The basic test is that a person is responsible for a child if that child normally lives with the claimant.

Exceptions to the responsibility rules

A claimant will not be classed as responsible for a child during any period when the child is:

Children looked after by the Local Authority

The regulations use the same meaning as that used in Section 22 Children Act 1989, Section 17(6) Children (Scotland) Act 1995, or Article 25 Childen (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.

A child isn't classed as looked after by the Local Authority for TFC purposes:

A person has parental responsibility for a child here if they are NOT a foster parent and they have parental responsibility given under the Children Act 1989 (in England and Wales), under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 (in Scotland), or the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (in Northern Ireland).

Last reviewed/updated 1 July 2022