Your step-by-step guide to getting your childcare code for September.

If you are an eligible working parent in England, you can apply for:

15 hours childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year, if you have a child between 9 months old and 3 years old. Your child must be at least 9 months old on or before 31st August.
30 hours childcare per week over 38 weeks of the year, if you have a child aged 3 or 4 years old.

You have until 31 August to get your code from to start in September. However, it’s important to remember some childcare providers will have different deadlines. Make sure you speak to yours at an early stage to find out more about their arrangements.

If you plan to return to work from parental leave or start a new job by the end of September, you can apply for a childcare code at the same time as everyone else. You will then receive a letter in the post within 1 to 2 weeks.

Here’s how to get your childcare code:

1. Check your eligibility online on the Childcare Choices website.

2. Speak to your provider, such as your nursery or childminder. Check what their arrangements are and that they can offer your child a place.

3. Create a childcare account on if you don’t already have one, where you can apply for your code. You’ll need…

  • your National Insurance Number (or unique taxpayer reference if you are self-employed),
  • the date you started or are due to start work
  • details of any government support or benefits you receive
  • the UK birth certificate reference number (if you have one) for your child.

4. You may receive your code straight away, but it can take up to 7 days. You should then give this code to your provider.

5. Reconfirm your details on your childcare account every 3 months.

If you have already applied for your code to start in September and received it before 1 June, you may need to reconfirm your details before you take up a place in September. Log into your childcare account on to check when you need to do so.

If you needed to reconfirm your details for Tax-Free Childcare before 12 May and your reconfirmation window opened after 9 June, you will have received a letter from HMRC with a valid temporary code.

To find out more, read the frequently asked questions for parents here.

Click here to apply for your childcare code.