Part of the reality of becoming a new mum is taking stock of your family's finances and working out how you will cope financially. When you're considering returning to work, how you will afford to pay for childcare and what kind of childcare you will choose are important decisions. Many new parents will not be familiar with childcare vouchers, how they work and how they can be used to pay for childcare.
The childcare voucher scheme is a national scheme offered to parents and guardians through the government and participating employers to help with the cost of childcare.
Childcare vouchers are a financially beneficial way to pay for childcare in the UK, because you don't pay tax or National Insurance on childcare vouchers to the value of £55 a week. This means that working parents can save as much as £1,195* a year by paying for childcare with vouchers. The savings could be double, if both parents sign up for a childcare voucher scheme.
The website Money for Mums has put together a good check list of information on childcare vouchers :
1 Check whether your employer's childcare vouchers are a benefit that is paid on top of your normal pay or whether it's part of a salary sacrifice scheme
2 Work out how your tax credits will be affected
3 If your cash pay is affected, ask if your other earnings-related payments will be affected (pension, overtime rates, pay rises etc.)
4 If your cash pay is affected, ask will your benefits-related payments be affected? (will your NI contributions to your State Pension be affected etc.)
5 If your cash pay is affected, ask would any student loan repayments be affected?
Childcare vouchers are redeemable to pay for childcare and child minding ensuring that a parent's return to work need not have a negative impact on their family finances.
Parents can also be assured when selecting a childcare provider that they have undergone rigorous vetting procedures. Before childcare vouchers can be used to pay providers the provider must be registered with an approved regulatory body and will need to meet the standards set out by that body. Ensuring only registered providers can accept vouchers for payment offers additional peace of mind to mums knowing that their child is being looked after in a safe friendly environment.