Information on childcare for service families within the UK and overseas.
United Kingdom (UK)
There are a number of childcare options for parents to choose from. Parents should go to Childcare Choices for further information and guidance on all available government childcare schemes.
From September 2017, working parents in England with children aged 3 and 4 years old, are entitled to 30 hours free childcare.
For the current childcare offer in Scotland, parents should visit the Scottish Government website for further information and guidance.
For the current childcare offer in Wales parents should visit the Welsh Government website for further information and guidance.
For the current childcare offer in Northern Ireland, parents should contact 38 (Irish) Brigade at email@example.com for further information and guidance.
In overseas locations, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) provides services (or access to services) that, so far as is reasonably practicable, conform in type, scope and standard to that required by legislation in England.
Parents will have access to the following:
15 and 30 hours free childcare
In MOD nursery settings overseas parents with children aged 3 and 4 years old can access 15 or 30 hours free childcare (depending on eligibility) free of charge. 30 hours free childcare DIN 2017DIN01-122 applies when registering for the additional entitlement. (DINS are only accessible by MOD personnel.)
Applications should be forwarded to the relevant setting or school for approval and recording.
Overseas Nursery Allowance (ONA)
Parents with children aged 3 and 4 years old located in areas overseas without access to MOD nursery settings, can claim refunds for 15 or 30 hours free childcare by means of ONA. ONA DIN 2017DIN01-167 applies. Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Childcare Voucher scheme is a salary scheme open to new joiners until 31 August 2018.
Childcare vouchers can only be used at nurseries or childminders which are MOD approved, regulated and inspected.
Tax Free Childcare
Tax Free Childcare (TFC) is a new government scheme introduced on 21 April 2017 to help working parents with the cost of childcare and will, over time, replace the armed forces Childcare Voucher Scheme. Parents have the option to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from an accredited and registered provider.
Parents can visit the Childcare Choices website to register. TFC can only be used at nurseries or childminders which are MOD approved (regulated and inspected). There are also some rest of the world locations where TFC is not currently available. DIN 2018DIN01-011 applies.
Universal Infant Free School Meals
The Department of Education announced that from September 2014 funding would be made available to enable state funded schools in England to offer a free meal to every primary school pupil in Reception classes, Year 1 and Year 2.
Service children in schools overseas in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 or their national equivalent are entitled to a free school meal. In some locations the schools will provide the meal but in others this may not be possible due to local conditions or restrictions. This provision is offered in line with english government legislation. DIN 2018DIN01-017 applies.