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 the relevant salary sacrifice arrangements with your employer must be in place on or before 4 October i.e. the first payday you receive a reduced salary.
This delay shows the real difference people can make – it was the combined voices of parents contacting their MPs that helped secure the six-month extension.
We need your help again to keep Childcare Vouchers open for all parents beyond October. If Childcare Vouchers closes to new entrants, expectant parents, working families not registered before then, and existing users who change jobs in 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 you can help to keep Childcare Vouchers open:
1. Contact your local MP
You can make a real difference by contacting your MP and asking them to put pressure on the government to keep Childcare Vouchers open to new users beyond October.
Its free, easy to do, and takes less than five minutes – just follow these steps:
- Click on theyworkforyou.com and enter your post code to find your local MP.
- Click on your MP’s name
- Click on the button near the top left of the page and enter the subject line ‘Keep Childcare Vouchers open for parents’.
- Tell your MP why you think Childcare Vouchers 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 and your family, telling them how you have benefited, or hope to in future, for example:
- How have Childcare Vouchers helped your family financially or get into and stay in work?
- Have you found the scheme easy to use?
- Has the scheme been beneficial for your work-life balance?
- Has it facilitated a more open conversation with your employer about your childcare needs?
- If you are expecting your first child, are you worried you’ll be unable to access Childcare Vouchers?
- Are you thinking of changing jobs, but worried if you do so you could lose access to Childcare Vouchers?
- Are you able to use Childcare Vouchers to help you with wraparound childcare costs for school aged children e.g. breakfast or afterschool clubs or summer schemes? (Tax-Free Childcare is only available for children up to age 11).
- Is only one parent in your household working? (to be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare, both parents must be in employment, and meet certain income criteria).
- Are you subject to immigration control and unable to access other support with your childcare costs?
- Do Childcare Vouchers offer you more support than other schemes?
- 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.
2. Share this campaign with your friends and colleagues, including new or expectant parents
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 the government 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 Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
Here are some sample tweets you could use and personalise:
Please [insert MP’s twitter handle] stand with 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
I value flexibility and choice when it comes to paying for my childcare. Please [inset MPs twitter handle] call on @hmtreasury to keep Childcare Vouchers open alongside Tax-Free Childcare to give all working parents that choice #SaveChildcareVouchers
Here is a sample Facebook post:
With the summer holiday around the corner, I value flexibility and choice when it comes to paying for childcare. If you do too, stand alongside working parents like me and join 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 with working parents to ensure we all have access to the same financial support towards the cost of childcare. Find out more here