EY: Pre-deadline code applications clarification: DfE

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May 3 2024

Please see message below from the Department for Education (DfE). Please make families aware.

We are aware that some local authorities have contacted us regarding applications for childcare codes, where parents have applied pre-deadline but do not get a code until after the start of term. We would like to clarify what happens in these cases.                                                                                                                                    

Where parents have applied for a childcare code by the deadline (31 August, 31 December or 31 March) and HMRC requires some more information to make a decision, they may receive a decision after the start of term. In such cases, if HMRC are able to make a decision in the first 14 days of term, the code will be backdated to allow parents to use the code in the current term. 

Example: Sally applied on 25th March for 30hrs to use for the summer term, but HMRC needed to assess her income, and did not make a decision until 5th April. Her code will be automatically backdated to 31st March to allow her to access her entitlement from summer term. 

If parents have applied by the deadline and receive a decision after the 14th day of the new term, they may wish to consider compensation Claim compensation for Childcare service issues - GOV.UK ( Please note that if parents applied on or after the first day of the term they are eligible for, they will not be able to use their code until the following term. 


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