The tax-free childcare scheme has now opened... for parents of children under 9 years old.  

The scheme is planned to cover children up to the age of 12 years and despite it having taken 5 years to get to this stage since it was announced, HMRC have decided to delay the inclusion of the older children until 14 February 2018.

Parents have to use the official website to register for the childcare scheme at Childcare Choices.

With recent news stories about parents having technical difficulties with the site , presumably HMRC have decided to open the scheme up in sections to try to avoid further issues.  We will have to wait and see whether that proves to be the case.