The Childcare Voucher scheme is due to close to new entrants on 4 October 2018 following a six-month extension announced by the government in March. This means parents must have made the relevant salary sacrifice arrangements with their employer on or before 4 October i.e. the first payday they receive a reduced salary.
This delay shows the real difference people can make – it was the combined voices of parents, employers, and childcare providers contacting their MPs that helped secure the six-month extension.
If Childcare Vouchers close to new entrants in October, expectant parents, working families not registered before then, and existing users who change jobs after October, will lose out on vital childcare support.
We want all families to be able to make an informed choice about the childcare that best suits their needs, based on a comprehensive and flexible package of support.
How childcare providers can help to keep Childcare Vouchers open:
1. Contact your local MP(s)
Write to your MP and ask them to put pressure on the government to keep Childcare Vouchers open permanently.
Its free, easy to do, and takes less than five minutes – just follow these steps:
- Click on theyworkforyou.com and enter your business’ post code to find your local MP.
- Click on your MP’s name
- Click on the button near the top left of the page with the subject line ‘Keep Childcare Vouchers open for working parents.
- Tell your MP why the Childcare Voucher scheme should and must be kept open to new entrants, and ask them to urge the government to do so. Make your email personal to you, for example:
- How have Childcare Vouchers enabled the parents who use your service to stay in work?
- How have Childcare Vouchers have helped parents, and therefore childcare providers such as yourselves, financially?
- Do you find the scheme easy to use, and it is easy to accept payments?
- Are Childcare Voucher payments easier to accept in comparison to Tax-Free Childcare?
- Have you experienced problems with Tax-Free Childcare?
- Anything else that you feel might be relevant in the argument to persuade government to keep Childcare Vouchers open.
The deadline to join the scheme is fast approaching so we encourage all new parents and families who could benefit and are not registered for Childcare Vouchers to do so now, rather than miss out. Please share this information with family, friends, other childcare providers, and new or expectant parents, so that they can also write to their MP.
2. Share this campaign with your parents and colleagues
Encourage your networks to write to their MP so that all parents can have access to Childcare Vouchers beyond October. As the deadline to join the scheme approaches, they may lose out unless it keeps it open.
3. Share this campaign on social media
You can also use social media to call on your MP to keep Childcare Vouchers open to new entrants. Share this campaign on Facebook, or tweet to your network.
Here is a sample tweet you could use and personalise:
Please [insert MP’s twitter handle] stand with childcare providers and working parents and urge @hmtreasury to halt the closure of Childcare Vouchers to new entrants and keep this vital support open alongside Tax-Free Childcare #SaveChildcareVouchers
Here is a sample Facebook post:
Don’t let working parents miss out on vital childcare support. Stand alongside childcare providers by joining the #SaveChildcareVouchers Lobby your MP to keep Childcare Vouchers open beyond October 2018! Find out more here
Here is a sample LinkedIn post:
The government plans to close Childcare Vouchers in October 2018. Join the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign now and stand alongside childcare providers and working parents to ensure families now and in the future can access the best support to pay for childcare. Find out more here