Information for all claimants under the Nursery Milk Scheme
- How do I join the Nursery Milk Scheme?
- You can apply to join the scheme by completing an application form. This form is available by downloading from this website. Alternatively you can obtain a form by telephoning or emailing the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit (NMRU). Our contact details are below. Once your application has been approved by the NMRU you will receive a confirmation letter with a unique account number. Reimbursement will not be made for any milk provided before the date of approval.
- Who can apply to join the Nursery Milk Scheme?
In order to join the scheme you must be one of the following:
- A registered childminder
- A registered day care provider
- A local authority which provides day care
- Those providing day care to children under 5 in schools or play centres that are exempt from registration
- Those providing day care in a nursery or crèche for the children (under 5 years old) of management and staff of certain establishments (e.g. children’s homes, voluntary or community homes, NHS hospitals) which are exempt from registration
Parents, relatives of the child and privately employed nannies are not eligible under the scheme.
The scheme only relates to childcare settings in England, Scotland & Wales.
- How long do children need to be in attendance to claim under the scheme?
The Nursery Milk Scheme entitles registered childcare settings to claim for one free drink of milk (1/3 of a pint of heat-treated cow’s milk) each day for children under five who attend for two or more hours a day. For children under one year old, this is given as infant formula. You can still claim for children who are absent without prior notice (e.g. off sick for less than a week). It is important to note that, for children who stay all day, the scheme only provides one free drink of milk, not one in the morning and another in the afternoon. In addition, if a child attends more than one registered childcare setting in a day then only one claim can be submitted for that child.
Day care provided for less than two hours in a day is not included under the scheme.
- What are the types of milk that I can make a claim for?
For children under the age of 5 you are able to claim 1/3 of a pint of heat-treated cow’s milk. This means pasteurised cow’s milk, including whole and semi-skimmed and the milk can be organic. It does not include fully skimmed milk, goat’s milk, soya milk, lactose free milk, fluoridated milk or unpasteurised milk.
Also, you are not allowed to claim for milk with flavours, colours, added vitamins or any other additions.
Infant formula for babies from birth up to 12 months old means one of the following brands:
- SMA First Infant Milk powder
- SMA Comfort Easy to Digest Infant Milk powder
- SMA Extra Hungry Infant Milk powder
- Cow & Gate First Infant Milk powder
- Cow & Gate Comfort powder
- Cow & Gate Infant Milk for Hungrier Babies powder
- HiPP Organic Combiotic First Infant Milk powder
- HiPP Organic Combiotic Hungry Infant Milk powder
- Aptamil First Milk from birth powder
- Aptamil Comfort from birth powder
- Aptamil Hungry Milk from birth powder
Within these brands you are able to claim for Hungry milk or Comfort milk.
It does not include follow-on milk, ready-to-feed milk, anti-reflux milk or any other brand.
- How do I make a claim?
Once your application has been approved by the NMRU you will receive a confirmation letter with a unique account number and a claim form to cover the first period that you can claim for. You will then have the choice of making your claims online or by post.
- How will I receive my payments?
All new applications to join the Scheme will receive payment by BACS (Banker’s Automated Clearing Service). This means that payments will go directly into your bank account, as detailed on your application form. A Remittance Advice, with a claim form for the next period, will be sent to you once a claim has been processed if you claim by post or by email if you claim online. Please note that payments cannot be made into building society savings accounts.
- What do I do if something has changed since I filled in my application form?
You must notify the NMRU in writing immediately if there is a change in your circumstances. If this relates to a change to your setting address or the number of children per session then you must send a photocopy of your latest certificate of registration from OFSTED, CSSIW or the Care Commission in Scotland. If your updated certificate does not include children numbers then please provide details of your current sessions and number of children you are registered to care for in a covering letter. If you receive your milk through an agent you will need to send copies to them and also ensure your milk deliveries are updated accordingly.
- What changes are being made to the current rules?
The legislation governing the Nursery Milk Scheme says “No amount shall be reimbursed in respect of milk supplied more than two years before the date of the claim for reimbursement”. This means that claims for reimbursement can be made up to two years after the date on which the milk was supplied (that is, the date on which the milk is given to the children).
The legislation has been changed and the changes come into effect on 1 October 2015. The new legislation says that “No amount shall be reimbursed in respect of milk supplied more than six months before the date of the claim for reimbursement “. This means that claims for reimbursement must be made within six months’ of the date on which the milk is given to the children.
- Why are these changes being made?
- The changes will help the scheme to operate more efficiently. They will also make it easier for the Department of Health to see how much is spent on the Nursery Milk Scheme each year. Over 90% of all childcare settings already get their claims in within six months.
- What does “supply” mean?
- The legislation refers to milk being “supplied”. This is the date on which you gave the milk to the children in your care. You might buy milk on a Saturday and give it to the children on the following Monday. You would therefore have “supplied” the milk to the children on Monday.
- What is the “date of the claim for reimbursement”?
- This is the date on which your claim is received by the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit. If you claim by post, you might complete the claim form and post it to the NMRU on, say, 13 August. If it arrives with the NMRU on 17 August, then 17 August rather than 13 August is the date of your claim for reimbursement.
- Examples of how the old and new rules operate:-
Milk is supplied to children on the 30thof September 2015 and claimed for on the 31st of July 2016 (10 months after the milk was supplied). Reimbursement would be made for this claim. Although the claim was made more than six months after the milk was given to the children, the children received the milk on 30 September 2015, before the changes in the law came into effect and the maximum claim period was still two years.
Milk is supplied to children on the 2nd of October 2015 and claimed for on the 2nd of August 2016 (10 months after the milk was supplied). Reimbursement would NOT be made for this claim. This is because the milk was supplied to the children after 1 October 2015, when the law changed the maximum claim period to six months.
Milk is supplied to children on the 2nd of October 2015 and claimed for on the 2nd of December 2016 (2 months after the milk was supplied). Reimbursement would be made for this claim. This is because the milk was supplied to the children after 1 October 2015, and claimed for within the new maximum claim period of six months.
If you use an agent for your claims
- If an agent is going to make claims on my behalf do I still need to register?
Yes you do. The agent is acting on your behalf and is required to provide individual details for all settings that it is claiming for. The NMRU validates these details and will only pay for those who are an eligible supplier. However, it is still your responsibility to inform us in writing if there is any change to any information held on file for you.
- Why do I need to validate my claim?
As a setting registered with the Nursery Milk Scheme, it is your responsibility to ensure that the amount of milk claimed for is correct even if you have your milk supplied through an agent. It is important to complete the NMRU Validation to ensure that any claim made on your behalf is accurate.
- I don’t know what my NMRU account number is to complete the validation.
Your account number should be quoted in the claim details forwarded to you by your agent. If you need any assistance with this then please call either your agent or the Nursery Milk helpline on 0844 901 4444.
- I don’t know what my registration certificate ID is.
This is your unique reference number allocated by OFSTED (England), SCSWIS (Scotland) or CSSIW (Wales). You will find your reference number on the registration documents for your childcare setting.
- What do I do if I cannot access the validation screen?
In some internet browsers you may need to copy and paste the link to the web-site to complete your validation. If you do not have a laptop or home computer to complete the validation please call the Nursery Milk helpline on 0844 901 4444 and they will be able to assist you.
- My claims are submitted by an agent but I would like to claim direct. What do I need to do?
You must contact your agent to discuss your deliveries and reach an agreement in accordance with your current contract with them. Once you have agreed your last delivery date with your agent if you email email@example.com confirming your Nursery Milk account number and last delivery date and we will provide further guidance.
- I would like to use a third party agent to deliver my milk and submit claims on my behalf. What do I need to do?
Your chosen agent will be able to provide all the forms necessary for them to act on your behalf.