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what is difference between TFC and 30 hours free?

(12 Posts)
user1467297746 Mon 30-Oct-17 13:59:55

just got back from picking the twins up from preschool and got a shock!

They have just told me we didn't fill in application on time and will have to pay for the last 2 months odd afternoons.

Apparently we filled in a form online for TFC - mid august in plenty of time for the end of august deadline..

We did get worried when it was time to send them back to school - but just before school blew a gasket we were contacted and asked to send birth certs off - becos the Twins were born when we were working abroad ( non EU country )

about a week later we were texted that the DERN codes had come through.

Now Leicester CC are saying that the date we recieved the DERN codes is the date of the application

that would be amazing! approved on the day we applied?!

there is no other records on the GOV gateway - just the mid august applications which say TFC

and the early september saying 30 hours application - which actually gave the DERN codes..

We have asked for the afternoon classes to be suspended since we dont want to pay 1000 a month and we can luckily rearrange our work so we can take care of them ourselves - inconvenient but more affordable!

nannynick Mon 30-Oct-17 20:17:27

Tax-Free Childcare is a scheme which for every £8 you pay in, Government tops up by £2, up to a maximum of £2000 per year, per eligible child. It is like a savings account, you pay in, Government adds the topup, then you pay your childcare provider from that account.

15-Hours early education funding - this is universally available and is provided by childcare providers registered on the Early Years register.

15-Hours childcare funding - this is offered by some Early Years providers. It is an add-on to the 15-hours early education funding.

Both schemes are administered via the same website, but they are different. You need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months.

badgerhead Tue 31-Oct-17 07:06:14

Tax free childcare is an account which you use to pay for childcare with. For every £8 you put in the government put in £2 up to a maximum of £2000 per child per year.
The 30 hours is the code that you are talking about which entitles those who have it up to 30 hours 'free' childcare per week over 38 weeks (so term time only) per year & some settings will spread over a year but then you have fewer hours per week. It is a total of 1140 hours per child per year. However most settings are likely to ask for further payment as the amount paid by the LA's on behalf of the govt falls short of the actual costs they incur to run the setting. e.g. I'm a childminder & in my LA I receive £4.42 per hour per 3/4 year old whereas my charges are £5.40 per hour.
The code you received would have been for the 30 hours, but that has to be renewed every three months & there are cut off dates for each term for them to be applied the following. it sounds as though you missed the cut off date so that is why there is a problem.

user1467297746 Tue 31-Oct-17 09:21:38

not sure how - but they are saying I applied for TFC not 30 hours, not sure how this happened!

I only filled in one form online, then they wrote to me and asked for birth certificates,

I then got the 30 free hours approved, they are saying I was instantly approved? is that even possible?

nannynick Tue 31-Oct-17 13:35:32

It is possible to be instantly approved as many of the systems are linked so checks are done fairly instantly. If you were manually approved for TFC and then applied for 30 Hours, you would be instantly approved for 30 Hours, as the criteria is the same as for TFC.

guiltynetter Tue 31-Oct-17 13:47:48

I don’t know if this applies to you so sorry if it’s not helpful (i got confused with your DERN bit)

My Dd received the 30 free hours. recently I’ve had emails from HRMC asking me to reconfirm my eligibility for ‘tax free childcare’ I don’t receive that, i thought. thinking that was the one where you pay money into an account and the gov tops it up. so i didn’t fill out a form etc.

Then i had an email saying they would be stopping my 30 hours free because i hadn’t reconfirmed eligibility.

Turns out the emails asking me to reconfirm ‘tax free childcare’ DID mean the 30 free hours. confusing :-/

user1467297746 Tue 31-Oct-17 19:10:36

yes exactly ! I tried calling again today and spoke to someone helpful this time - and they said the TFC and 30 hours extended was on the same application basically. I have no idea how that could be the case - but anyway was promised they would send a letter to that effect verifying I had applied in time. only took 45 mins.

hopefully have some news in the post by the end of the week.

user1467297746 Fri 03-Nov-17 16:58:27

ok - got my letter today!

If you face this predicament you must speak to to eligibility

they defo need to improve their system because my 30 hours application was showing as a TFC application on the secure messages page - but was confirmed on the phone that it was in fact a 30 hour application.

Just had that in writing from them. hope that should satisfy my local authority.

reallyorange Fri 03-Nov-17 17:03:45

Op funny you should post, I've just been on the phone to them a second time over this. It's completely unclear what you are meant to do for the free 30 hours.
My nursery told everyone to get sorted early on to make sure you get your code in time. My DC isn't 3 for another month or so but I applied ages ago. The site says it's the same portal for both TFC and the 30 free hours.
After the whole application process I kept logging in but couldn't see anything about the free 30 hours even though it had supposedly been approved. Person on the helpline today kept telling me to click on 'the 30 free hours' even though there is no such link on my account. Kept telling me all sorts of things that I couldn't see. eventually they decided I needed to wait until the 'reconfirmation' date, reconfirm then I would get my code. I'm dubious....
The whole thing is very vague. I'm not even intending to use the TFC for a while but everything is written as if this is the main thing you will use even if you only want the 30 hours.

reallyorange Fri 03-Nov-17 17:08:07

I've just checked the account and all the confirmation 'you've been approved' specifically state my application was approved for TFC. Nothing about the 30 free hours. So I had no idea anything was approved.

The administration of this has been quite appalling.

user1467297746 Sat 04-Nov-17 09:36:52

yes - they are not seeing the same thing on the screen as our secure messages, I suggest you make a note of the time and dates you called them so you can dispute later.

Actually I was so surprised the Local authority is accepting screen shots as proof - you could basically type it up in a word processor its so basic looking.

why on earth are they using us as middle men and not talking to each other directly?

reallyorange Mon 13-Nov-17 18:52:44

Right, update in case it helps anyone else. Despite what I was told, I hadn't actually applied for the 30 hours, just the TFC! It's the same application process, but because I did it so early (because nursery urged everyone to do it early as codes could take months to come through) it didn't trigger an application for the 30 free hours. The child needs to be turning 3 within 16 weeks when you apply.

So ironically I can't apply for it at all - there's simply no option to do it - until the 3 month reconfirmation request when I should be able to do it (but am still dubious)!

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