Parents offered compensation after Childcare Service technical issues

Pre-School Learning AllianceHMRC is offering some parents compensation after continuing problems with the government’s Childcare Service website.

The website has experienced several technical issues since its launch earlier this year. The problems have left a number of parents unable to access both tax-free childcare and the 30-hours offer, which are both managed through the website. Some parents are said to have been locked out of tax-free childcare accounts, while some have wrongly been told that they are not eligible for the 30-hours.

Providers have also experienced problems with the site, including a technical glitch that saw childminder data, including home addresses, wrongfully shared online.

Compensation claims
Parents may be eligible for a one-off top-up from the government if they have been:

  • unable to complete an application for tax-free childcare
  • unable to access a childcare account
  • left without a decision on whether they are eligible, without explanation, for more than 20 days.

For more, see Pre-School Learning Alliance.

Claiming Funding for 30 Hours

If a parent is experiencing problems with getting their code they should call HMRC on 0300 123 4097.

The parent will have to check their code every three months and will be reminded by HMRC to do this.

Hounslow Council will run a check every term to see which parents have failed to check their eligibility or have fallen out of eligibility.

When a parent is no longer eligible they fall into the ‘grace period’.

The grace period is used to describe the length of time the parent and childcare provider receives the entitlement until it is withdrawn.

The grace period end date is usually till the end of term that the parent becomes ineligible.

If a parent is sharing the funding between two providers then the parent must make it clear to both with whom the parent is taking the first 15 universal hours with and the extended 15 hours with.