Childcare Vouchers extended – what parents need to know

The Childcare Voucher scheme has been given a six month extension by Government.  This means there is a new opportunity for working parents to sign up to receive Childcare Vouchers.

Parents who have temporarily opted out of the Childcare Voucher scheme

If you have temporarily opted out of using Childcare Vouchers, but want to have the option of using the scheme in the future, make sure you have made at least one salary sacrifice in the 52 weeks before it closes to new entrants. Even if you only salary sacrifice £1 in a 52 week period you can remain in the scheme for as long as you are eligible, and continue to make at least one sacrifice in each 52 week period going forward to remain eligible for the scheme.

New parents / parents on statutory maternity pay

A parent can join Childcare Vouchers from when their child is born. You cannot salary sacrifice below the equivalent of the national living / minimum wage. Nor can you salary sacrifice if you are in receipt of statutory maternity pay only. Parents in receipt of statutory maternity pay could use a Keeping in Touch (KIT) day, where they receive full pay, to salary sacrifice a small amount (for example £1) to join the scheme and ensure they have options on returning to work.

Not sure what financial help you are entitled to?

Employers For Childcare urges all parents to call its Family Benefits Advice Service to find out what financial support for childcare would be best suited to them, and identify any other benefits to which their family may be entitled. Working parents who received a personal calculation from us last year gained an average of £4,130. Get in touch for more information or call 0800 028 3008.