Image showing three young girls playing game, Connect Four with a guardian and baby sat on the settee directly behind.

The process of how to apply for Overseas Nursery Authority (ONA) and Universal Infant Free School Meals (IFSM) has changed. ONA and UIFSM budgets for all three Services and Civil Servants have historically been held by the Army. For ONA, Army Res in Andover has processed applications and payments. For UIFSM, Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS), then part of the Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) screened applications and refunds were made using local arrangements (IMPREST).

With the disbandment of DCYP and the creation of Armed Forces Families and Safeguarding (AFFS) and Defence Children Services (DCS) on 1 April 2021, the budget for ONA and UIFSM transferred to the Head Office and Army Res and CEAS support has now ceased. A new JPA solution has been implemented from 1 February 2022.

ONA and UIFSM DINs have been updated accordingly. Unfortunately, only Service personnel can access these via the MOD’s internal DIN portal. The DIN references are as follows:

  • ONA –   2022DIN01-008
  • UIFSM –   2022DIN01-009

Under the new process, it will be up to applicants to carry out their own eligibility checks for both ONA and UIFSM applications and then, once application paperwork has been signed off by the relevant Command, Service personnel will be able to use JPA’s i-Expense for reimbursements. This will make the whole process quicker and easier. Regular audit checks initiated by JPA authorisers will ensure only correct claims are processed.

Those eligible to claim but without access to JPA (including Civil Servants) will need to go through their admin unit to identify alternative payment options (using local arrangements, MyHR etc).

All refunds will be charged to Head Office owned UINs. These will be communicated within the updated DINs.

See also: Overseas Education Considerations

Back to news