Call for Childcare Vouchers to be re-opened to new entrants

The Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) has published a report (available on the right of this page) highlighting the impact the closure of Childcare Vouchers to new entrants (in October 2018) is having on parents, employers and childcare providers, who are calling on the Government to re-open the scheme.

Based on a survey of 20,000 parents, employers and childcare providers, the report finds that:

  • Parents feel they now have less choice when accessing support, and many are worse off financially as a result, causing them to question their ability to stay in work.
  • Employers are frustrated that they can no longer offer Childcare Vouchers to new staff, and are losing a means of positive engagement with employees.
  • Childcare providers are concerned that an inability to access Childcare Vouchers will mean that some parents can no longer afford to use their service, with many also finding the new Tax-Free Childcare scheme more complex to administer.

The report includes the compelling voices of those who have been affected by the closure of Childcare Vouchers to new entrants, including personal stories such as Rebecca who changed jobs and lost access to the scheme as a result:

“I did not realise the implications of changing jobs and did not have the opportunity to consider this huge financial loss that was about to affect me. The changes and closure have had a big impact on me and will continue to do so for the next five years – I’m devastated.”

Similarly, callers to our Family Benefits Advice Service tell us every day about the challenges they face in paying for the childcare they need to allow them to go to work, with some questioning their ability to work at all. Closing Childcare Vouchers has, for many families, increased this challenge with some receiving less support and others missing out entirely.

Families should have access to the form of childcare support that best suits their individual circumstances which is why Employers For Childcare continues to call for a comprehensive and flexible package of childcare support for parents that includes Tax-Free Childcare and Childcare Vouchers. Re-opening the Childcare Voucher scheme to new entrants is a policy that is aligned with the Government’s objectives, clearly has widespread support from parents, employers, and childcare providers as demonstrated in this report, and will be straightforward to implement as the necessary infrastructure is already in place, with the scheme continuing to be available for existing users.

We will be using this report in our work with MPs and urging them to call on the Government to re-open the Childcare Voucher scheme. Last year, the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign rallied tens of thousands of parents, employers and childcare providers to make their voices heard, calling for Childcare Vouchers to be kept open. Find out more about the campaign here.

If you would like guidance on the range of financial support available with the cost of childcare call our Family Benefits Advice Service on Freephone 028 9267 8200.