What are Childcare Vouchers?

Childcare vouchers are one of the ways in which employers can assist their employees with the costs of childcare

The Employer Childcare Voucher Scheme was closed to new applicants post April 2018.

For guidance on the variety of childcare offers available through the government visit the Childcare Choices website.

You may also wish to consider the governments Tax Free Childcare Scheme which suits both working parents and those who are self-employed.

If you live in Scotland, you will need to find out specific information on the Scottish scheme. Please contact your local Tinies office in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, or Glasgow for further information.

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How does a childcare voucher scheme work?

When the government introduced the Tax Free Childcare Scheme in 2017 the then Employer-Supported Childcare Voucher schemes had to close in April 2018.  However, parents who registered for the Childcare Vouchers Scheme with their employer by this date are able to continue to utilise for as long as their employer offers it.

If your employer remain in a Childcare Voucher Scheme they would have signed up to a childcare voucher company and be paying them an administration fee for their service. The voucher company will be supplying any parents who had registered prior to April 2018 directly with childcare vouchers.

Employees in receipt of childcare vouchers may be able to use them to 'pay' their nanny or other registered forms of childcare. The nanny will then redeem the value of the voucher from the childcare voucher company, usually by direct payment into their bank account.


How do childcare vouchers reduce childcare costs?

Childcare vouchers can be offered to you in addition to your cash salary but are more commonly offered as a "salary sacrifice". This means that you sacrifice a specific amount of your salary and instead receive that amount in childcare vouchers. Childcare vouchers are exempt from National Insurance Contributions (NIC), so you will only pay NIC on the reduced level of your salary, saving up to 11% on NIC. This saves money on childcare costs.

What sort of childcare can they be used to pay for?

Childcare vouchers schemes can only be used for registered or approved childcare costs.Your nanny will need to be "registered" through the 'Ofsted Childcare Register' (OCR). Your nanny will also need to register with the voucher company in order to reimburse the value of the vouchers they receive.

Can all nannies accept payment through childcare vouchers?

Only if they are "registered" through the Ofsted Childcare Register (the OCR) and they have a bank account. See the information on the Ofsted Childcare Register.

In order to receive the childcare voucher reimbursements the nanny will need to register their details with the childcare voucher company. This is usually a record of contact details, registration number where appropriate and bank account details. There is no cost to the nanny in receiving payment through childcare vouchers. Information packs explaining childcare voucher to nannies are available from most voucher companies.

Getting your nanny "registered" for Vouchers

The nanny must apply to Ofsted for his/her application form. For more information about the scheme, please read:

Tips on Registering Your Nanny on the Ofsted Childcare Register


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