Half term is approaching - for most schools it falls in the last week of May. Are you a working parent who is saving your holiday entitlement for the longer summer holidays? Perhaps you are in a role which means you simply can’t take time off when the children are not at school. If you need additional childcare during half term week, but are concerned about the cost, there is a great way to save money, says Busy Bees Benefits.
Childcarevouchers are basically a tax break to help you pay for childcare. You give up part of your salary each week or month and you do not have to pay tax or National Insurance on that portion of your wages, which are used to pay directly for a variety of forms of registered childcare. This can save you up to £933 a year if you are a basic rate taxpayer (subject to individual circumstances). If both parents join a scheme, these savings can be doubled.
Childcare vouchers could be used to pay for days at a local playscheme, holiday club or at one of the larger national companies which provide holiday activities, courses and day camps. Many of these companies provide early start and late pick up times so you can still meet the demands of your job and know the kids are not only cared for by a registered provider but will come home inspired by their experiences.
To access childcare vouchers, you will need to check if your employer offers a scheme. If they do not, ask them to do so now. By offering a scheme, both employees and the company will save money. It’s worth knowing too that the Childcare Voucher scheme may only be open until Autumn 2015, when the Government is expected to launch the Tax-free Childcare scheme. Savings for some families will be smaller under the new scheme. If you join a childcare voucher scheme now, not only will you be saving for the next two and a half years, you will be able to choose which scheme is best for you.
How can parents access childcare vouchers and how do they work?
- Childcare vouchers are available to working parents via their employer. They are a benefit, so parents must ask their employer to provide them. The employer will save money too, so it’s worth them offering the scheme as part of their benefits package.
- Once the employer agrees to provide childcare vouchers, the parent simply registers on 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. Taking childcare vouchers, means that parents can save up to £933* per year in tax and National Insurance savings.
- Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for any registered childcare up to 1st September after your child's 15th birthday (16th if they are disabled)
For more information about how you can start saving using Childcare Vouchers visit www.busybeesbenefits.com.