HMRC Update: 30 hours

Childcare providers:

30 hour codes

When a parent applies for 30 Hours Free Childcare, they may not get their code straight away. If they applied on 31 August or before, valid codes can still be used for the term starting in September, subject to provider availability. A parent should check with you or their local authority to see if places are still available. 

A child can take up 30 hours the term following their third birthday and the term following receipt of their 30 Hours code, whichever is later. Parents applying from today (1 September 2017) are able to apply for 30 hours for the January term onwards.
Parents continue to apply online through the childcare service. The Helpline is available for any parents who experience technical issues and are issuing codes manually in those cases. Call the Government Childcare Service helpline for support on 0300 123 4097 (8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays).

Reconciliation of payments

When parents make payments to you via their childcare account, the payment will appear alongside their unique child reference number in your bank account. Parents are given these reference numbers in their welcome packs when they sign up to Tax-Free Childcare. These reference numbers are made up of the first letter of the child’s first name, the first three letters of their surname, a five digit number and ‘TFC’. For example, John Smith may have the reference JSMI12345TFC. Parents are encouraged to pass these numbers on to you, to support you in matching payments to individual children.

Childcare providers who are having difficulties reconciling payments from parents can now send HMRC a form listing the payments they need to identify. The form is hosted on the provider pages of the Childcare Choices website here.

Childcare providers should return the form to the following e-mail address: and will receive a call them back as soon as possible.