Extended Entitlement: Reconfirmation of eligibility and code validation

The EYCS has received the following update from Childcare Works:

Parents are required to reconfirm through their childcare service account that they remain eligible for the extended entitlement and Tax-Free Childcare every three months. If a parent’s details have not changed, they only need to tick a box in their childcare service account to confirm their details remain the same.

Parents should receive two reminders to reconfirm (4 weeks and 2 weeks before their reconfirmation deadline). However, there are concerns that some parents may not be receiving these reminders. These concerns are being investigated urgently by the DfE. In the meantime please can you encourage parents to reconfirm, if they have missed their reconfirmation deadline.

In Devon, we believe this may be due to a misunderstanding with some parents thinking the message will be received as an email, letter or text.

If a parent misses the reconfirmation deadline, they will receive a message through their childcare service account telling them that they are no longer eligible for the extended entitlement and Tax-Free Childcare. When a provider validates             the parent’s code it will show that they are in their grace period, which means that the child will be able to continue to access their extended entitlement until the end of the autumn term. To take up a place in January, parents will need to reconfirm. They are able to do this through their childcare service account, even if they have missed their reconfirmation deadline.

As previously advised, a parent can reserve an extended entitlement place with a childcare provider before their code is validated, but the code must be validated via the department’s Eligibility Checking System before the child can actually take up their funded place.

Autumn term places will be funded for parents who applied by 31 August, but did not receive a code until September. This may have been due to HMRC requiring additional information to determine their eligibility or because of technical difficulties when accessing the childcare service. Please ensure that you check the child’s date of birth is eligible before agreeing a start date for the autumn term.

In addition to this Devon is allowing any codes applied for and issued as “eligible from” by 30th September to be funded for the Autumn Term for the initial implementation of 30 hours.

A small number of temporary codes that have been issued (beginning with ‘11’) will expire approximately 3 months after they were issued. These parents have been advised by the childcare service helpline that they will need to complete the full online application via the childcare service to continue to access the extended entitlement and also apply for Tax-Free Childcare.

Please refer to the Operational Guidance here for further information.