Applying for childcare hours online

Hello – I am at a bit of a loss about what to do right now to help our client apply and get the code for 30 hours free childcare. She is entitled due to the UC LCWRA element she receives and her older son in primary school is getting Free School Meals vouchers.

The only way to apply is online via the Government Gateway ID which I have helped her create, however we cannot complete her account because the online systems that be are apparently not able to verify her identity. The option to do this via a credit agency says it cannot verify her ID, and when we try the passport option (she has refugee status with a BRP and Home Office Convention travel document so no passport but I thought the reference numbers for either of these might work!), it also does not recognise her details.

The client called the number they give when these options don’t work, and they told her to click on the ‘get help’. We’ve done this, and she’s received an automatic email helpfully advising her to make sure that she provides all her details exactly as they are written on her documents, which we have done. There doesn’t seem to be any other option for contacting any department about this?

It’s not particularly urgent right now as he wouldn’t be attending nursery in any case, but I do want to get this sorted out and am concerned for other clients whose identity is also unlikely to be verified due to nil credit history in the UK and no British passport.

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