What is the wraparound childcare scheme?

The MOD Wraparound childcare (WAC) scheme – also known as ‘Out of School care’ in Wales and ‘School Aged Childcare’ in Scotland – was rolled out across the UK by Defence to help eligible Service families with childcare costs.  

Eligible families can claim for up to 20 hours per week of funding for each child attending childcare settings before and after school care during term time. 

Who is eligible for the WAC scheme?

  • Service personnel (Regular and Full Time Reserve Service) assigned within the UK or serving on an unaccompanied assignment overseas, with the family residing in the UK.
  • Children for whom the Service person has parental responsibility for must be aged between 4 and 11 years old (4-16 years old if in receipt of disability benefits) and attend school full time (including home education).
  • Children must be recorded on JPA.
  • The Service person and their partner, or a sole parent in a lone parent family, must be in paid employment, or re-starting work within the next 31 days, earning a weekly income equivalent to 16 hours at the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.
  • The Service person must be financially responsible for a child who usually lives with them at least 50% of the time, unless separated due to Service commitments (deployment, residential courses) or are on unaccompanied assignments.
  • The Serving person and their partner (if applicable) must each have a net adjusted income of less than £100K per year.
  • The childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted (or equivalent) and be based in the UK and accept Tax Free Childcare (TFC) as payment.
  • Each child must have a HMRC tax-free childcare account for each child.

Who isn’t eligible?

  • Foster children are not eligible. 
  • Children who are normally resident elsewhere, for example those living with another parent or relative. 
  • Children who attend boarding school (either full or part boarding) are not eligible for WAC scheme. This includes those families paying for the costs themselves or by claiming the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA).

Note: Children who attend an independent school as a day pupil, this could be paid for privately or by CEA, could be eligible for WAC funding but all other criteria need to be met. 

How to claim?

WAC claims and registrations are now completed in JPA under the ‘My child allowances – WAC’ section. The new process launched on 19/02/2024.

New Wraparound Childcare Claims Workflow

The new system will automatically calculate your capped rate and how much you can claim using the details that you add from your invoice and the childcare provider information you provided on your registration form. The separate claims calculator is no longer required. Once submitted, your claims status will show as either submitted, pending, or approved depending on which state it is at. 

Approved claims will be paid at the end of each month with your salary and included on your payslip. Claims will be subject to monthly payroll cut-off dates.  

New process FAQs > 

Step by Step instructions >

Service families overseas

The WAC policy team have commenced work to consider the options available for an overseas childcare offer. The overseas picture is more complex, and it may be that one solution will not fit all countries. 

Further information

Full details of the Wraparound Childcare offer are available in the DIN for WAC #2022DIN01-079. 

RAF Discover my Benefits online 

Childcare for service children (www.gov.uk) 

Defence Childcare Portal on defnet or Defence Connect 

If you have any questions or concerns about WAC, please contact the MOD Wraparound Childcare Implementation and Policy Team via email at: [email protected].