Easter is almost here, bringing thoughts of spring and warmer days ahead, but parents can find entertaining their children for two weeks during the Easter holiday a costly experience. Not all parents can take time off work while the schools are closed and find the need to use childcare, activity clubs or other out of school groups.
The first of the longer school holidays in the year is a perfect time for kids to try new activities, meet new people and develop new skills. Parents may think they can’t give their children these opportunities because they are too expensive. However, working parents can use childcare vouchers to help pay for such activities. Most parents use childcare vouchers to help fund registered childcare for pre-school children. Vouchers are accepted by nurseries, nannies, au pairs or childminders. It is less well known that childcare vouchers can be used for school-age children to pay for out of school clubs and activity camps.
JohnWoodward, MD of Busy Bees Benefits said “As long as parents check before they book that the activity organiser accepts childcare vouchers as payment, they can give their child the opportunity to enjoy a host of fun and educational days and know they are being cared for by a registered activity provider. Even if you don’t need childcare during term-time, vouchers can be saved up during the year to help pay for holiday childcare and activity costs.”
How can parents access childcare vouchers and how do they work?
- Childcare vouchers are available to working parents via their employer. Childcare vouchers are a benefit, not a right, and so parents must ask their employer to provide them. The employer will save money too.
- Once the employer agrees to provide childcare vouchers, the parent simply registers to the scheme, stating how much they would like to deduct from their wages each pay day in return for the vouchers.
- Parents can currently exchange up to £243* per month.
- The amount exchanged for vouchers is deducted from the employee’s wages and no tax and National Insurance is taken. Parents then pay their childcare provider with the vouchers. Through taking childcare vouchers, parents can save up to £933* per year.
- Childcare vouchers can be used to pay any registered childcare provider for children up to the age of 16.
For more information about how you can start saving using Childcare Vouchers visit www.busybeesbenefits.com.
· *Basic Rate tax payers, subject to individual circumstances.