Childcare Expansion:DfE will give temporary reconfirmation codes to parents who need them
Following discussions with the DfE regarding parents who won’t receive their reconfirmation codes until March, there will be a temporary fix to the problem.
Some parents who reconfirmed their Tax-Free Childcare account in November or December will not receive their code for their two-year-old place until too late to reserve a place.
The DfE will send a letter and temporary manual code to all those parents who will be receiving their digital code after February 15 so they can use this to access a place at their local provider.
NDNA hopes this will address some of the challenges parents are facing, but we are still pushing for local authorities to let nurseries know their funding rate as soon as possible.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “The DfE is putting in a temporary fix for this reconfirmation of codes issue to make sure parents don’t miss out on their place. But again, we are concerned that this is so last minute for parents and providers who are also in the dark about their funding rates.
“When the Chancellor announced the childcare expansion, they should have been looking at all these potential issues and working with the sector to make sure any teething problems would be ironed out. This temporary fix although welcome will put another layer of potential confusion on an already baffling system. We also need to make sure this problem is fixed before September.”
A DfE spokesperson said:
“We are rolling out the single largest expansion in childcare in England’s history, ensuring working parents with 30 hours of free childcare a week, starting at nine months old all the way up to their child starting school. We are pleased that thousands of parents have already applied for the expansion starting in April.
“However, a pre-existing feature in the system, where parents re-confirm their eligibility every three months, is impacting a minority of parents when combined with a small number of providers who are asking for codes much earlier than April.
“Parents who can’t re-confirm online until the second half of February or March will therefore automatically receive a letter with a code from HMRC before the middle of February, without needing to take any action.”