Eligible childcare charges and Explore Learning

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    Hi all

    Has anyone had this come up? A customer has declared childcare costs, and these have turned out to be due to the child attending Explore Learning.

    Explore Learning are referred to on the internet as ‘private learning centres’ and are located in Sainsbury stores. Parents pay a fixed amount each month it seems, which entitle them to 2 sessions per week, lasting around an hour and a quarter. Children receive tuition in maths and english, in line with the national curriculum.

    They are an Ofsted registered facility and can accept all forms of childcare costs vouchers. I gather that WTC accept them and will take up to 70% of the charges paid into account.

    They therefore appear to meet the definition of eligible childcare costs but the only thing that makes us wonder is the tuition aspect. Just wondered if anyone had encountered these and if so, what you did with them! H)

    Many thanks



    Hi Sharon,

    We have recently had a few of these cases crop up. Apparently, if Tax Credits are taking these payments into account and paying part of the costs, we are able to take these into account for Housing and Council Tax Benefit purposes.

    We have to see the letter from Tax Credits showing the payments for Explore Learning are being taken into consideration.




    Re the query about tuition – that only comes into play if there’s a charge in relation to compulsory education. Explore Learning are effectively childminders who decide to be more educationally constructive rather than playing.


    Thanks all – we had come to the conclusion that they would have to be counted as eligible childcare costs, so nice to know others agree! :santa:


    We have a claimant who wants to claim childcare costs for a week in the holidays. She sent her son to a sports activity week which is run by a private company Plantet Sport in the local sports centre. I can’t find an ofsted number. We have said the costs are not eligible as not ofsted reg or run by Local Authority etc etc. Is this correct???


    Carol Meredith

    Hi Julie. I agree with you. If not registered with Ofsted then cannot be eligible childcare.

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