Is HMRC deliberately making it hard to claim the 30 hours free childcare?

So, I spent the better part of about an hour and a half on the phone to HMRC yesterday and came off the phone without a resolution and without any shred of sanity left. Is anyone else having problems sorting out the 30 hours childcare that the government rolled out in September?

I managed somehow to get Autumn enrolled on the scheme for the last three months but that was a mission too, with our local council telling me that our application was too late. After much to-ing and fro-ing, HMRC provided us with a form proving my application was in on time but by now it was November and I had missed out on two months of childcare I could have claimed and Autumn was at home with me while I worked, basically being ignored while I tried to hit deadlines.

So, I’m now trying to reapply (as you have to do every three months) for January and the HMRC website is telling me that I’ve never had an account (even though Autumn is currently at nursery on her 30 hours: explain that one!). So I’ve tried to set up a new application, HMRC’s website tells me to set up a new government gateway account (I’ve already got one, but apparently it’s not the right one, even though that’s the one I set up for the first application: WAHHHHHH). So I dutifully set up a new one but no, it’s still the wrong one. Cue that time on the phone (that I will never get back) being passed between departments, none of whom seem to have a bloody clue what’s going on. It has now been passed to the technical department (“they’re really busy at the moment as we’re having a few teething problems” NO SHIT.) So god only knows when I will get it all sorted and atm, it looks like I won’t get my code to nursery in time and I will have to go back to ignoring my poor daughter while I try and write. The other spanner is that I am a LTD company and as such, will apply as PAYE. This may well blow HMRC’s tiny mind (and system). Last night I couldn’t sleep worrying about it and I’ve been in tears all day about it today. It’s so frustrating,

It makes you wonder how many people give up and don’t claim doesn’t it? And THAT makes me wonder whether all of this hassle is deliberate…….


UPDATE. I have not managed to sort out the problem and the clock is ticking on getting the code to my childcare providers. I’ve now been advised by HMRC to make a new application through my husband. I wait with baited breath for the verdict…..

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