Snapshot of Childcare Choices
Tax-Free Childcare (TFC)
TFC was introduced by UK government (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) in April 2017.
Eligible parents using MOD regulated nursery settings and childminders in Germany, Cyprus and Gibraltar can register for TFC now. Parents in Rest of the world locations should be able to use the scheme by November 2017.
TFC works by parents opening a savings account with National Savings and Investments and for every £8 paid into this account, HMRC tops it up by £2. Parents can then use this account to pay for their childcare (which effectively will be tax-free), but the setting/childminder they want to use has to be registered for TFC to allow them to do so.
There is no cost to settings/parents for joining TFC. Settings can continue to accept Childcare Vouchers if they currently do so. Parents can only use one scheme at a time. TFC is only available to working parents, i.e. both parents have to working a minimum of 16 hours per week to qualify. Childcare Vouchers
The Childcare Voucher scheme (Armed Forces and Civilian) allows parents to purchase vouchers (current contractor is Sodexo) which they can then use to pay for childcare. Parents already in this scheme can remain in it until the foreseeable future. For new joiners, the Childcare Voucher scheme closes on 31 March 2018.
DCYP have put together a poster comparing TFC and the Childcare Voucher scheme. The poster has been circulated and similar information is available on the MoneySavingExpert
website. 30 hours free childcare
On 1 September 2017, English government is introducing 30 hours free childcare for eligible working parents (both parents have to work a minimum of 16 hours per week to qualify) with children aged 3 and 4 years old.
In overseas locations, where reasonably practicable, MOD will mirror this offer in their regulated settings. Overseas Nursery Allowance
Eligible parents in overseas locations where MOD settings are unavailable will be able to claim the additional entitlement by means of Overseas Nursery Allowance (ONA).
The current ONA DIN is available on the Defence Intranet 2016DIN01-112.
More information is also available on the Childcare Choices