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My reconfirmation window isn't until the second half of February or March. Is this too late to secure a childcare place?

If you are already claiming Tax-Free Childcare and your reconfirmation window doesn't open before the 15th February, and you do not yet have a code for this reason, HMRC will send you a letter before the 15th of February with a valid temporary code.

This code can be used to confirm your place with a provider for April, but after this you will still need to reconfirm through your online childcare account in the usual way when your reconfirmation window opens. The next steps will be set out clearly in the letter you will receive.

You should not contact HMRC before you receive your letter as they will be unable to provide you with a code.

If you haven't received a letter by the 15th February, or if you lose the letter including your code, you will be able to contact HMRC who will be able to remind you of your code.

Where possible, please wait for your letter to arrive and refrain from contacting HMRC before this time.

Before your letter arrives, you have the option to speak to your provider, explain that you are waiting for your HMRC letter, and ask if they can reserve a place for you.

You can show that you are eligible for Tax-Free Childcare if your provider asks for proof of eligibility. This is evidence that you are eligible for the new working parents entitlements as these forms of support have the same eligibility criteria. You can show them:

  • Proof of your Tax-Free Childcare eligibility (this can be a screenshot from your childcare account, or showing them your account on your phone)
  • When your reconfirmation window is (you can get this from your childcare account)
  • Your National Insurance number, and
  • Proof of your child's date of birth, for example your child's birth certificate, to show that your child turns 2 on or before 31 March 2024.

You will need to show your provider the code that you will receive in your letter from HMRC. You must do this to formally secure your place. If you do not give your provider a code, you won't be able to take up a funded place.

We also know that some providers are able to amend invoices if they have issued them before a parent has received their code, so we recommend you speak to your provider if you are in this situation.