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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular Aspects: Child Care - Future arrangements for Child Care

Child care includes childcare that will be provided in future under an arrangement already made between the Parent and the Provider. This could include retainer fees, providing other entitlement criteria are met. However, a parent can only make a claim for the child care element up to a maximum of 7 days in advance of the date that a child care arrangement begins (i.e. the first day that costs are actually incurred).

An acceptable arrangement for short term retainers, for example, when the child is on holiday but the provider still requires payment, or where childcare is due to start and the provider needs payment in advance to hold the place.

Not acceptable - retainers paid as part of an arrangement to keep a place available if and when required, for example, where the child is in childcare during the school holidays but customer also pays for term-time in case it is needed.

Where the customer has entered into an agreement with the child care provider, but not yet started to make payments then they should estimate their average weekly charges.