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Wednesday, 26 January 2011 12:58

Are you making the most of childcare vouchers?

Half term is coming and for working parents with school aged children this can be both a logistical and financial concern.
According to a leading provider of childcare vouchers, parents are missing out on thousands of pounds of savings for after-school and holiday childcare.
 Figures from Computershare Voucher Services (CVS) show that the majority of childcare vouchers are generally used on nursery care (68% on average each month) compared to 8% of parents who use the vouchers for afterschool care or activities.
Even during the summer months of July and August, very little voucher uptake was recorded for  day time activities and holiday activities, which suggests many parents are not aware that vouchers can be used in this way and for children up until the age of 16.
For example did you realise that vouchers can be used for the following once your child has started school:
·         Out of school clubs
·         Childminder
·         Nanny (if registered with Ofsted)
·         Extra curricular activities
·         Holiday clubs or schemes
·         Activity holidays including Camp Beaumont, PGL and Supercamps.
Also thanks to new legislation introduced in 2008, schools that offer qualifying childcare can now accept Childcare Vouchers. This could include activities such as music lessons and sports clubs*, providing they are:
·         invoiced separately to compulsory education fees
·         taking place after school hours
·         are not a part of the National Curriculum
·         taking place on the premises that forms part of the school’s annual inspection.
With half term approaching please be mindful that there may be activities on offer, and childcare options available where vouchers can be utilised, so don’t miss out! 
*In England only.