Childcare Vouchers: What employers need to know

Operating a Childcare Voucher scheme

We administer the only Social Enterprise Childcare Voucher scheme in the UK which helped parents to save over £11.2 million on childcare costs and employers to save a further £4.8 million through reduced National Insurance Contributions in 2019/20.

The Childcare Voucher scheme allows working parents to swap part of their pre-tax salary to pay for registered childcare.  As a result, they make savings on their tax and National Insurance.  Parents can pay a maximum of £243 per month from their salary into their Childcare Voucher account and use this to pay for registered childcare.

In 2018 the Government closed the Childcare Voucher scheme to new entrants only.  Current users can continue to use Childcare Vouchers as long as they remain eligible provided they:

  1. Joined the scheme prior to 4 October 2018, and
  2. Make at least one salary sacrifice (more than £0) within each 52 week period, and
  3. Do not leave the scheme in order to use Tax-Free Childcare, and
  4. Do not change employer (if the employee tries to rejoin Childcare Vouchers AFTER moving to a new employer, they will be deemed a ‘new entrant’).

For more information on Childcare Vouchers, refer to our most Frequently Asked Questions, which are available here.

Can a new employee join your current Childcare Voucher scheme?

No. The scheme closed to new entrants on 4 October 2018. This means anyone not signed up to the scheme before 4 October. Therefore, those parents with first born babies born after this date, families not previously registered, and current users who change employer after 4 October are considered ‘new entrants’ and are unable to join the scheme.

If you have new employees who are parents, and who would like to find out if they are entitled to any other form of financial support with their childcare costs, our Family Benefits Advice Service can help – Freephone 0800 028 3008 for free, impartial and confidential advice.

Advice and Information

For more Childcare Voucher employer information you can download our  Employer Guide to Salary Sacrifice and Employer Terms and Conditions guides.

If you require further information about Childcare Vouchers,  how to administer the scheme or to switch Childcare Voucher provider you can call our Business team on 028 9267 8200 or email

If you would like guidance more broadly on childcare support for your employees, or how you can be a family friendly employer, call our Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008.