Frequently asked questions

Registering to claim free milk

  • A registered childminder
  • A registered day care provider
  • A local authority which provides day care
  • Those providing day care to children under 5 years in schools
  • Those providing day care in a nursery or crèche for children (under 5 years) of management and staff of certain establishments (eg children’s homes, voluntary or community homes, NHS hospitals) which are exempt from registration should contact the NMRU to confirm their eligibility before registering with the scheme.

You can register using our online registration.

You will need to provide:

  • Existing NMRU number (if previously registered with the NMRU)
  • Childcare provider setting name and address
  • Your contact details
  • Childcare registration certificate number
  • The childcare setting opening times
  • A best estimate of attendance figures of eligible children
  • How you purchase your milk
  • The name of your milk agent if you are using one
  • Your bank details if you are claiming directly

You will be asked to sign a declaration and agree to the rules of the Nursery Milk Scheme.

This is the unique number on your Ofsted (England), CSSIW (Wales) or Care Inspectorate (Scotland) registration certificate.

If you select Ofsted or Department for Education as your registration authority, please enter your 6 digit URN reference. If you are an Early Years setting, this will be your ‘EYxxxxxx’ number.

If you’re having problems locating your 6 digit URN, it can be found on the respective Ofsted or Department for Eduction websites, using your setting’s postcode.

If you do not have a certificate to upload, we will contact you if we need any further information in order to verify your registration status.

CMA registered child minders are not currently able to register or claim from the Nursery Milk Scheme because the regulations governing the scheme do not permit this. The Department for Education is currently working with the Department of Health (who are responsible for the Nursery Milk Scheme) to examine the options for enabling CMA child minders to claim. Further information will be published via the Nursery Milk Scheme website as soon as it is available.

Claiming for milk

Once you have fully registered with the Nursery Milk Scheme you will have access to your online account. You can make a claim by logging in to your account and navigating to claims.

Children under 5 years who attend the setting for two or more hours are entitled to 1/3 of a pint of milk each day they attend the setting.

Children who attend for less than two hours are not eligible under the Nursery Milk Scheme.

If a child attends the setting all day, they are only entitled to one 1/3 of a pint portion of milk.

You may be reimbursed for any pasteurised cows’ milk, including whole and semi-skimmed, under the Nursery Milk Scheme. The milk can be organic.

The Nursery Milk Scheme does not include fully-skimmed milk, goat’s milk, soya milk, lactose free milk, fluoridated milk or unpasteurised milk, milk with added flavours, colours, vitamins or other additives.

You can claim for powdered infant formula for babies up to 12 months, the following brands are covered by the scheme:

  • 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

You may not claim for follow-on milk, ready-to-feed milk, anti-reflux, goat’s milk, plant milk or any other brand.

The Department of Health encourages childcare settings to purchase milk at the best possible price to meet their requirements under the Nursery Milk Scheme. Purchasing milk at a local retailer and then re-claiming the cost may be cheaper than using a milk agent to supply milk.

As a childcare provider registered with the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit, it is your responsibility to ensure the amount of milk being claimed for your setting is accurate. Even if you are claiming via an agent, it is your responsibility to enter your setting’s attendance data. A claim made via an agent will not be reimbursed until it has been validated against your attendance data.

Receiving payments

Once your claim has been approved, payment will be made within 3 working days. Payments are made by BACS so it is important to ensure the NMRU has your bank details and that they are up to date. BACS is the only method used for making payments under the Nursery Milk Scheme.

You will have access to your online account to check all the details we hold for your childcare setting. We may ask for evidence before making the requested changes, for example an updated registration certificate, or proof of change of address or bank details.

It is the childcare provider’s responsibility to ensure all information is correct at the time of submitting a claim. You will be asked to sign a declaration to confirm all information is correct.

Using an agent

Yes. You are required to register with the NMRU, providing the information specific to your childcare setting. You will also be asked to enter attendance data to enable the NMRU to verify claims made on your behalf by the milk agent. This can be done via your online account.

Yes. Firstly, you will need to end your contract with your milk agent. Once you have agreed a contract end date, you can update how you make a claim in your online account. Alternatively you can call our customer service team.

You need to contact your chosen milk agent, register with them and agree a date for them to start supplying you with milk. Once you have registered with your milk agent, you also need to register with the NMRU and select your agent during registration. If you have already registered with the NMRU, you can notify us of an agent appointment via your online account.

The Nursery Milk Scheme

On the 1st October 2015 new legislation stated “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.

When you register with the Nursery Milk Scheme the account number is emailed to you. It is also available in your online account.

You will only have an existing NMRU number if you were previously registered with the NMRU. In order to submit any outstanding claims relating to the last 6 months, you must provide your existing NMRU number during re-registration.

This will have been sent to you during your previous registration with the scheme. It can be found on any remittance advice or, if applicable, in communications from your milk agent advising you of the requirement to re-register with the scheme.