You are encouraged – if it is applicable – to make use of the Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) scheme which has a relatively low take-up rate across the Forces.
The initiative was introduced in 2017: a savings account which parents can use to pay for childcare. For every £8 they pay in, the government adds another £2. Parents can save up to £2,000 every year (£4,000 where children are registered as disabled).
To qualify for TFC, both parents have to be in paid employment, each working a minimum of 16 hours per week at the National Minimum/Living Wage (approx. £130 per week).
The low sign-up across the Service community may be because parents are still making use of the Childcare Voucher scheme (CVS), which closed to new entrants in October 2018, or because parents are unsure whether they are eligible.
You can check that eligibility for TFC by visiting the www.childcarechoices.gov.uk, where there’s a step-by-step guide.
Parents leaving the CVS to join TFC will not be able to rejoin CVS.
Eligible parents posted overseas can access TFC as long as they use MOD-approved childcare providers. This includes childcare oﬀered by MOD schools and nurseries, and Ofsted-regulated and inspected childminders. Parents in non-MOD school areas can access TFC only when the provider is regulated, registered and inspected by the relevant host nation and both the parent and provider have access to a UK bank account.
The TFC DIN was updated in May 2020 and can be accessed via defnet – 2020DIN01-054 (internal users only).