Alert: HMRC Childcare Service Technical Issue

Note that the following information only applies to families living in England.

A number of callers to our helpline, who use Childcare Vouchers, have reported problems when reconfirming their eligibility for 30 hours free childcare (a scheme available to eligible families in England).

While it is perfectly acceptable for families to use Childcare Vouchers alongside 30 hours free childcare, the HMRC Childcare Service incorrectly indicates that the household must stop using Childcare Vouchers before continuing to be eligible for the 30 hours free childcare. It is important that families are aware this is not the case, otherwise they could lose out on the support they are entitled to.

This has been raised with the HMRC Childcare Service helpline and has been confirmed as a ‘technical issue’. As a temporary workaround HMRC advisors have stated the following:

  • When a user is reconfirming details and asked about Childcare Vouchers they should initially indicate ‘Yes’ they have stopped using Childcare Vouchers.
  • The next screen shows a summary of their details. The user can then edit and correct their details in this screen to indicate that they are continuing to use Childcare Vouchers.
  • This will then allow the reconfirmation of eligibility for 30 hours free childcare alongside continuing usage of Childcare Vouchers.

Remember, if you have any queries regarding the support that is available to assist you with your childcare costs, call our Family Benefits Advice Service on 028 9267 8200 for free, impartial and confidential advice.