How to access your 30 hour and Tax-Free Childcare account with HMRC

Whether you have applied for 30 hours free childcare, a Tax-Free Childcare account or both with HMRC you will need access to your account from time to time. This could be to view your 30 hour, 11 digit eligibility code or to read a secure message that you have been sent regarding your application.

If you have not yet applied for one of the childcare schemes, our step by step guide can talk you through the process.

You must ensure you apply in good time as HMRC may require additional evidence to process your application. If you apply on the deadline day and HMRC require further evidence to process your application, you may not receive your code in time and be liable to pay for your childcare until the next term. Funding cannot be backdated.   

HMRC must receive applications by:

  • Autumn Term 31st August
  • Spring Term 31st December
  • Summer Term 31st March

For more information about what help with childcare costs are available through the Government visit Childcare Choices or use the Childcare Calculator to find out what childcare option is best for you.

If you are still having problems accessing your account, please contact HMRC directly on 0300 123 4097.

Accessing your account

If you have already set up an account click here

Your Government Gateway ID is the reference you were given when you applied for a Gateway account.

30 Hours Eligibility Code

Once you have signed into your account using the Government Gateway, you will see the childcare account screen and be able to view all the options available to you. From amending your contact details, reset your password, access your Tax-Free Childcare account to adding a new child to your account. 

To view your 30 hours eligibility code click on the ’30 hours free childcare’ link; the code will usually start with ‘500…’. If you were initially given a temporary eligibility code over the phone, and followed up with a letter from HMRC, this will start with an ’11…’.

You will also be able to see the date for when you need to reconfirm your eligibility.


Secure Messages

If you have been sent any secure messages that relate to your application, including confirmation that you are entitled to the extended entitlement, click on the ‘secure messages’ link. The confirmation message relating to your application will also contain your eligibility code should you qualify for the 30 hours.

The secure messages will be addressed to you and the child that it relates to will also be within the body of the message.

Re-confirming Eligibility Code

As you will know, you will need to re-confirm your eligibility every 3 months. When you log into your account you will be able to view the deadline date for when you need to re-confirm your eligibility by.

Failure to re-confirm your eligibility may result in funding for your additional hours being withdrawn.

Remember that your code could expire before you’ve even used it and in these cases the grace period will not apply.  Ensure you keep on top of your re confirmation.


Page last reviewed: 03/08/2023

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