Tax-Free Childcare: Public Consultations
On this page you will find public consultations related to the Tax-Free Childcare scheme. Where available, we also show the Government’s response to the consultation.
- Department for Education consultation – 30-hour free childcare entitlement (April 2016)
In April 2016, the DfE launched a consultation seeking views on key elements of the operation and delivery of the 30 hours extended free entitlement for the working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.
In November 2016, a Government response to the consultation was published.
- HMRC consultation – Tax-free childcare: Draft guidance (October 2014)
In October 2014, HMRC published draft guidance on the scheme, and a short note explaining the guidance and inviting comment.
- HMRC consultation – Technical consultation on draft secondary legislation (July 2014)
Shortly after the Childcare Payments Bill was introduced to Parliament, HMRC published a technical consultation which was accompanied by two sets of draft Regulations – the Childcare Payment (Eligibility) Regulations and the Childcare Payment Regulations.
The Government’s response was published in January 2015. Some changes were made to the scheme in response to this consultation, including an extension from seven to 14 days of the “window” in which people can apply for TFC before they start work, and an option for self-employed parents with fluctuating income to calculate their income over a tax year. The Government confirmed that they would double support for disabled children. A parent with a disabled child will be able to pay up to £16,000 into their childcare account each year and receive top-up payments of up to £4,000.
- HM Treasury/HMRC Consultation – Consultation on childcare account provision (May 2014)
Despite the Government’s confirmation in the earlier design consultation response that NS&I would be delivering the TFC accounts, a consultation document published in May 2014 outlined other potential methods of delivery of childcare accounts. The options included provision by HMRC, NS&I, one or more private sector providers, or by means of an open market.
The Government’s response, published in July 2014, concluded that NS&I would be the scheme’s account provider.
- HM Treasury/HMRC consultation – Tax-Free Childcare: Design and operation (August 2013)
The purpose of this first consultation was to invite comment on the detailed design and operation of TFC. The document set out proposals relating to eligibility criteria, management of “voucher accounts”, and the key information and validation processes.
The Government’s response[VT11] , published in March 2014, confirmed that TFC would be available for children under 12 in its first year – significantly faster than the original plan to introduce it over seven years. The previously announced cap of £1,200 per child would be increased to £2,000. The Government also announced that online “childcare accounts” would be run by National Savings and Investments (NS&I), an executive agency of HM Treasury, and that the accounts would operate through quarterly entitlement periods so that changes of circumstances would not have to be reported in real time.
Last reviewed/updated 1 July 2022