Parents continue to be let down by Tax-Free Childcare


Reports today confirm that Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) continues to be hit with technical glitches, leaving parents unable to access vital financial support to pay for their childcare costs.

This comes just one month after the closure of the Childcare Voucher scheme, which has left thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of parents worse off.

The Office for Budget Responsibility also revealed in the Budget last week that government spending on the TFC will be £600 million lower than expected in four years – due to the significantly low take-up of the scheme.

Commenting on the ongoing problems with TFC, Jacquie Mills, Chair of the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA), said:

“The news of more technical glitches with Tax-Free Childcare – as well as reduced government funding – is a further blow to working parents. Families are now not only left with less choice of childcare support since Childcare Vouchers closed, but are left with a scheme that is flawed, less generous for working parents, and unreliable for its service users.

We’re calling on government to reopen the Childcare Voucher scheme – it is clear now more than ever that parents need a choice of childcare support that best suits their individual family needs”.

Contact: Beatrice Allen on 020 3102 3626 or at

Notes for editors:

The campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers has seen:


  • 284 employers, representing over 148,000 employees, sign our business pledge to keep Childcare Vouchers open, including Barnardo’s, Kettle Foods, the University of Southampton, and NHS Grampian.
  • 80 MPs sign an Early Day Motion, urging government to keep the scheme open until a more thorough analysis is completed of the ‘winners and losers’.
  • 119,000 people sign a petition to keep Childcare Vouchers open beyond the original closing date of April 2018.

Parents have been sharing with us the impact the closure of Childcare Vouchers is having on them and their families. These real-life experiences illustrate the problems being experienced as the replacement scheme – Tax Free Childcare – is less generous for hundreds of thousands of working families. We receive more of these comments every day, but below is a selection from parents who have agreed to share their stories as part of our campaign.

  • “I’m starting a new job in a different city in October and will be unable to join Childcare Vouchers before it closes. As a newly single mum after a marriage breakdown, the closure of the scheme is yet another unfortunate event for me and my daughter. I’m sure there will be many others who don’t yet realise the impact the closure of the scheme will have on them until they change employer.” – Anonymous


  • “Thank you for supporting this campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers. I had no idea of the impact the scheme’s closure would have, but when I received a new job offer, I used the government calculator and found I’ll lose out on hundreds of pounds towards my childcare costs if I change employment.” – Anonymous


  • “As I would change employer after the schemes closure, I will not be entitled to sign up to Childcare Vouchers at my new employer. With other financial losses, it is likely I will be forced to stay with my current employer despite having limited ability to develop as a professional female engineer, whilst also being a single mum. I will also be forced to suffer the increasing negative impact on my mental health caused by issues with my current employer.” – Anonymous


  • “My husband has just started a new job and unfortunately missed the payroll cut off to join Childcare Vouchers. This means we’ve now lost the childcare support we had under his previous job. As I’m a self-employed mum, we are currently eligible for Tax-Free Childcare, but I might not always have a job and could soon become ineligible. This didn’t matter when we received Vouchers – it gave us the flexible support we needed.” – Sam, Cumbria


  • “I’ve just been informed I won’t be able to benefit from Childcare Vouchers. Although I signed up for the scheme in September, I will only start receiving a taxable income from October, after the deadline, as I finished my PhD last month. My wife is still studying for her PhD , so we won’t be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare, and we don’t receive any tax credits. It seems very unfair that the Government is failing to support student parents who need more financial assistance.” – Anonymous


  • “I’ll be financially worse off as a result of the Government’s detrimental decision to remove the Childcare Voucher scheme, as will many other hardworking families and their children. We’re supposed to be seeing the end of austerity, not further hardship caused directly by decisions taken by this Government.” – Anonymous


  • “I’m starting a new job in January and despite having received Childcare Vouchers for almost three years in my current job, I’ll be considered a new entrant in the Government’s eyes and denied this support. This isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a financial blow. Under Childcare Vouchers, it’s a comfort to know a good part of my daughter’s childcare is already paid for before I receive my salary.” – James, Swindon

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