AFF receives many enquiries relating to wraparound childcare scheme (WAC), which was set up by the MOD to help with the cost of childcare for working military families. It is a capped rate that can be claimed to help pay for up to 20 hours of before and afterschool care for children aged between four and 11.

Since the launch of the scheme, we’ve had many families approach us with questions about their eligibility. We have gathered some of the most frequently asked questions and have answered them here:

My partner is in the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS), will we be eligible?

WAC is available to service personnel, both regular and FTRS in the UK, and to service personnel who are currently overseas while their family remain living in the UK.

I live away during the week but travel home as much as the army will allow – will I be eligible?

This would be classed as being ‘separated for service reasons’, so if all other eligibility criteria are met, your family would qualify. The most common reason for living apart is when the family home is not near the serving person’s current posting, so they need to live away during the week and travel home for the weekends or when on leave.

My children are currently living full-time with my parents in Scotland, they both work and need to use childcare, can I claim WAC on their behalf?

Children who live away from the serving person, potentially living with another parent or relative, are not eligible as the children would need to live with the serving person for the majority of the time.

I am the serving person and my spouse and I have decided to separate, they plan to continue working. Will our children continue to be eligible for WAC? Our children will be living with their other parent once everything is finalised but I will still help pay for the care they need.

If a relationship has ended and the service person lives at an alternative address from their children, they will no longer be eligible for WAC. To remain eligible the children must live with the service person for at least 50 per cent of the time.

My partner is taking a break from working to do a university course. The course involves unpaid work placements, will we be able to claim the WAC while they are studying?

No, in order to be eligible for WAC payments you must both be in paid employment and remain eligible for a tax-free childcare account. Therefore, for the duration of the period of study, you wouldn’t be eligible to claim WAC.

We are not eligible for WAC but find the cost of childcare prohibitively expensive and we cannot rely on the service person to help with all the care we need. What other avenues of support are there for us?

If you are not eligible for WAC, then it’s a good idea to look at which details options that may be available to help with the cost of childcare. The offer changes depending where you are living in the UK, so it’s worth checking it each time you move or as your children grow as some offers are dependent on the age of the child.

Where can I find more info?

Go to AFF: MOD Wraparound Childcare Scheme. Alternatively, send your queries to or search for WAC on Discover My Benefits.


Clarification which was requested by the AFF Foreign & Commonwealth team about entitlement to the MOD wraparound childcare scheme (WAC) if one parent has no recourse to public funds (NRPF)* has resulted in a change to previous advice. Following consultation with His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the MOD WAC team has now confirmed that:

  • All serving personnel are eligible to apply for WAC regardless of their immigration status or their partner’s status;
  • If a service person has a partner who has NRPF then the service person has to be the one to make the application;
  • If the partner is not subject to immigration control, then either of them can apply;
  • Both the service person and their partner need to meet all the other criteria.

*When you have permission to enter or stay in the UK, but a condition of this is that you have no recourse to public funds (NRPF), so you cannot claim most benefits, tax credits or housing assistance paid by the state. 

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