A whole new tax free childcare funding scheme was launched on 21st April 2017. Initially it was available for children under four, with other ages being added during the remainder of 2017. Under 6s were added from 24th November. The upper age of children included will eventually be 11, and 16 for disabled children (paid up until they reach their 12th or 17th birthday respectively).
The big difference is who can benefit. In the past, childcare vouchers were available only for the employed and only then if their employer offered them.
The new scheme, Childcare choices, is still available to employees but is independent of the employer and so will be an option for many more. But the biggest change is the inclusion of those who are self-employed. The general eligibility is that both parents must each earn at least £120pw, but not more than £100k per annum. If they have recently started being self-employed and income is low then this lower limit is waived too. So it really will be an option for many more people.