Wraparound Childcare – full UK roll-out approved

The Ministry of Defence has announced that there will be a full UK-wide rollout of the Wraparound Childcare Scheme (WAC) from Autumn 2022.  

From the start of the 2022 autumn term, WAC funding will be available to all eligible Service families with children aged 4 to 11 years, who are in school or being home schooled in the UK. If eligible, personnel can claim up to 20 hours per week of funding for each child that is attending before and after school care during term time. Wraparound childcare is also known as ‘Out of School care’ in Wales and ‘School Aged Childcare’ in Scotland.

The news comes after the WAC scheme was piloted at various sites, including Catterick Garrison and Woolwich, with over 1,800 children benefitting from the scheme.

Major General Paul Griffiths, The Army’s Director Personnel said “The new WAC scheme is a positive step forward in providing the support our people need to continue to meet the demands Service life places upon them. It will directly support our drive to give our people more choice in how they live their lives and ensures those who remain mobile have access to the childcare they need.”

What should you do now?

Every child that personnel want to claim WAC funding for must be recorded on JPA and must have a Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) account.

If your child(ren) is not recorded on JPA and/or you do not have a TFC account, Service families should take the following steps now:

  1. Record your child(ren) on JPA.
  2. Read information about TFC accounts by visiting Tax-Free Childcare on GOV.UK.
  3. Check if your family will financially benefit from having a TFC account or a salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme, including the Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme (AFCVS (Sodexo vouchers)). You cannot have both at the same time. To make an informed decision about which scheme suits your family best, use the childcare calculator on GOV.UK. Please be aware, if you choose to leave the AFCVS, you cannot re-join it.
  4. Apply: If you choose to claim WAC funding, you can create a TFC account for your child(ren) on GOV.UK

Where can I find out more?

Keep an eye on our website and social media pages, we will be updating these with further details as we receive them. Service personnel can check the Defence Intranet or Defence Connect for further announcements and more information as it becomes available.



    Why are married unaccompanied excluded from this? My husband moves every 2 years, so we made the decision to be unaccompanied for the children’s stability. I work full-time, this would be a huge help. All the doctor’s, dentist, eye appointments, staying home when the kids are unwell off school, all falls on the spouse. If anything, they need this more!

    Hi, the eligibility criteria states that the Service person must have financial responsibility for the child and they must live with them for the majority of the time.

    Personnel who live away during the week and return to the family home at weekends and during leave periods (choosing to live unaccompanied), are classed as being separated for Service reasons which satisfies the WAC eligibility criteria.

    When there has been a relationship breakdown and the Service person does not live in the family home with the children when they are not at work, they will not be able to claim the WAC funding.

    We pay our after school club fees via the gov website and they pay the school. On our invoice it states “tax free childcare voucher”. Am I able to claim WAC? Or do I have to cancel the way I pay the school?

    Hi Adam

    Families will be able to claim up to 20 hours a week of capped by region funding for wraparound childcare (before and after school care) for each child during term time. This can be used with any Ofsted approved (or equivalent) childcare setting. The childcare provider must be able to accept payments from Tax-Free Childcare accounts.

    For more information, please check DIN: 2022DIN01-079 or our website https://aff.org.uk/advice/education-childcare/mod-wraparound-childcare-wac-scheme/

    I have left the SODEXO scheme but have unused Vouchers. Can I pay for childcare using the vouchers and claim them back on the WAC scheme?

    Hi Ash

    If you choose to leave your salary sacrifice scheme you can use any accumulated vouchers to cover any childcare that is not covered by WAC such as holiday care or any before or after school hours that are over the 20-hour WAC limit.

    We are advising people to contact their voucher provider for full details on how to use their vouchers after leaving the scheme.

    Families need to carefully consider where they use the majority of their childcare care as WAC is only for use during term time. We are reminding all families who are thinking about closing their voucher schemes to carefully consider their options as you cannot re-join the voucher scheme should you choose to leave.

    You need to work out which will be best for you and your family and the HMRC childcare calculator on GOV.UK can help with this.


    I have an account for both my children and currently pay into for their wrap around care at the minute. how does WAC work do we pay for it and then claim it back on JPA or do we provide the clarks with the account per child as once I register and put in the school club there’s no option for WAC ?

    I’m a bit confused how it’s payed for once all accounts are set up and children are registered on JPA

    To clarify-
    We use Sodexo for our childcare vouchers, and would like to continue with them. Our children are named on the Sodexo account. And they are registered on JPA. Is this all ok to qualify for the WAC scheme? Thanks.

    Hi Lindsey

    In order to claim WAC you need to have a TFC Account for each child. We advise all families to use the Childcare Calculator (https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator) to decide which is financially the better scheme for them based on their personal circumstances. Unfortunately you cannot belong to the childcare voucher scheme and TFC at the same time.

    Can I remain on the salary sacrifice scheme and be entitled to WAC? Or must I leave this scheme and sign up for tax free childcare?

    You must check and decide if your family will benefit from having a TFC account or a salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme including the Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme. Please be aware that you cannot have both at the same time and if you leave the AFCVS scheme you will not be able to re-join. To make an informed decision about which scheme suits your family best, use the childcare calculator on GOV.UK. To be eligible for WAC each child must have a TFC Account in their name. For more information about this look at our FAQs https://aff.org.uk/advice/education-childcare/childcare-early-years/ or contact educationsupport@aff.org.uk

    As child practitioners (childminders) will we get paid on time as when getting Sodexo payments they take about 7 days to clear. How will payment work

    Hello, this is all well and good however what about the student midwives and student nurses that work full time for the NHS for free? We desperately need this help working 12 hour shifts at hospital however are not classed as “in work” by the government!! Please can you take this forwards. As a student midwife and army wife this would be so beneficial to myself and many others. Many thanks

    Thank you for contacting us. We acknowledge your frustration about this and although we know that the WAC will help to mitigate childcare issues for some families, we understand that it will not be the answer for all. We’ll continue to raise the needs of all Army families with decision makers – and your evidence is important in that. In the meantime, if you haven’t already looked at the Government’s Childcare Choices website, do check it to see if there are other options for your personal circumstances: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

    When trying to create a tfc my identity cannot be verified as my employer has asked them to remove me from HMRC’s digital services so I cannot use the service. Any advice

    Hi, my husband pays in to the sodexo child care account. Our wrap around care costs exceed the salary sacrifice amount so I wanted to know whether it would be worth leaving the salary sacrifice scheme and going for TFC instead. When completing the tfc account it doesn’t mention anything about this new scheme on the gov.uk website. Thank you

    Thank you for contacting us, I would advise you to use the Government’s Childcare Calculator to check to see whether Childcare Vouchers or TFC is the better option for you: https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator Please be aware that more information about WAC will be coming soon and you’ll be able to get a better idea as to how the scheme will run and this will help you make an informed decision about which funding will suit you and your family best. Remember that if you choose to leave the voucher scheme you will not be able to re-join so taking the time to make the right choice is important.

    Do you know if the Child Free Tax Account has to be in the name of the serving personnel, or can it be in their partner’s name?

    Please look out for more information coming soon which will explain how to use each child’s TFC to claim WAC. The TFC Account does not need to be set up by the serving parent but there must be a TFC Account for each child that you wish to take advantage of WAC.

    It’s in the child’s name, you received a code for you to pay into the account via bank transfer.

    I receive 30 hours free child care for my 4 year old who starts school in September.
    I just need to hopefully get information on two things
    1) the gov page doesn’t have WAC as a benefit option so I can’t claim it on there so where can I find it ?
    2) can I just confirm it is for before and after school clubs

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