The Government has proposed major changes to childcare vouchers from 2015. Here’s what you need to know about the plans, which are now in consultation:
- Parents will be able to use an online voucher system, allowing the state to pay for up to a fifth of childcare costs.
- It will cover only parents of children under the age of five and households where both parents work.
- This effectively cuts employers out of the equation, says Iain McMath, managing director of leading voucher provider Sodexo Motivation Solutions. Recent research from the Childcare Vouchers Providers Association finds this is a worry for employers, as 65% of employers offering vouchers see them as key to retention.
- Parents using the current scheme will be able to continue using it after the new scheme begins, but new people will not be able to join. McMath says this is leading to a spike in new joiners. “More people are signing on before they need to,” he says.