Win Your Child’s Height in Books - Get those guesses in!

Our Win Your Child’s Height in Books competition still has a week left to run, so there’s no excuse for you not to enter.

By now, you will surely have noticed the competition posts on our Facebook page. Brightly coloured and covered in text, the posts are like books in many ways – though not nearly so valuable. Each post includes a quote taken from a children’s book, and this is where your knowledge of children’s literature (or how to use Google) will come in handy.

All you have to do to enter is to identify the quote, and write the title of the book it comes from in the comments of that picture. Be sure to include the hashtag #CVSquotes with your answer. That’s it - you’ve entered!

And, if you’re really stuck, the picture in the background is there to offer a hint – be warned though, they’re pretty cryptic!

Cool. Anything else I need to know?

The prize for the competition is a pile of books. The size of the pile depends on how tall your child is. So, if your little one is 3ft 1in, the pile of books will be 3ft 1. If they’re 4ft 9in, the pile will be - you’ve guessed it - 4ft 9. If your child is 100ft tall, there's a chance they may be a horse chestnut tree. While we've nothing against horse chestnut trees entering the competition, the maximum height of books we can give away is 5ft 9in.

To go to our Facebook page and get your entries in, click here.

To read the terms and conditions of the competition, click here.

Good luck!

Win Your Child’s Height in Books is back!

Here at Computershare Voucher Services, we’re all about child literacy. Nothing makes us happier than the thought of a little one getting inspired by a new book. That’s why we launched the Win Your Child’s Height in Books competition.

 

 

Now in its fifth year, the competition gives you the chance to win a big pile of books for your child. The size of the pile depends on how tall your child is. So, if your little one is 2ft 7in, the pile of books will be 2ft 7. If they’re 4ft 2in, the pile will be 4ft 2 as well. BUT if your child is 11ft 9in, the pile of books will only be 5ft 9 (as that’s the maximum height of books the competition allows). You might also want to check that your child is actually a child, and not a lamppost.

Sounds great! How do I enter?

Entering the competition is simple. Starting at 1 pm, 04 February 2016, and ending on World Book Day (03 March 2016), we’ll be making a series of posts on our Facebook wall. These posts will be easy to spot, as each will contain a brightly coloured picture with a book quote written on it, expertly put together by our graphic designer, Steve.

All you have to do to enter is to identify the quote, and write the title of the book it comes from in the comments of that picture. Be sure to include the hashtag #CVSquotes with your answer. It really is that easy.

And, if you’re really stuck, the picture in the background is there to offer a hint – be warned though, they’re pretty cryptic!

To go to our Facebook page and get guessing, click here.

To read the terms and conditions of the competition, click here.

Good luck!

Computershare named in Top 30 Employers for Working Families

We’ve sponsored the Employers for Working Families Benchmark and Award since 2011. It’s something very important to us, given that providing childcare vouchers to help families with their childcare costs is one of our most popular salary sacrifice schemes, and we strongly believe in maintaining a healthy work/life balance. So we felt that it was about time we benchmarked ourselves against other companies, and we’re delighted to have been awarded a place in the Top 30 Employers for Working Families.

How does it work?

Each year the charity Working Families asks employers to complete a benchmark survey, showing what measures they have implemented to support family-friendly work practices.

All companies who complete the benchmark receive a detailed report from Working Families, highlighting the areas where they are ahead of, and where they are behind, other companies. In this way, employers can understand and celebrate what works well, as well as assess what can be improved. The participating employers who are doing the most to support working families gain a place on the Top Employers for Working Families list.

How do we support working families?

There are a number of ways in which we support employees with families including, but not limited to, the following:

-       Generous maternity and paternity leave pay

-       Easily accessible policies and information packs

-       Flexible working

-       Employee Assistance Programme

-       Networking groups

-       Career breaks

-       Buddy Parent Scheme

-       Childcare Vouchers

Why do we do this?

We are committed to providing a positive work environment for all our employees, and supporting their family life is just one element of this. We recognise that to attract and retain the most talented people, we need to give them a really happy and rewarding experience, helping them to achieve their professional goals and promoting their general wellbeing. As our MD, Julian Foster, commented, “The best employees have rounded lives, and the best employers do not force their staff to compromise their commitment to their families. Flexible working creates happier and healthier workforces that are hardworking, committed and loyal, as well as improving engagement and increasing productivity.

What’s next for us?

We will continue to develop our family-friendly working practices as a result of the insights gained from this year’s survey, and we look forward to building on our progress so far.

A big thank you to Working Families and congratulations to all the other employers who made the list.

 

Getting into the Christmas spirit… And our ‘Top Ten Childcare Voucher Tips’ for the new year

It’s official - the countdown is on to Christmas and we’re getting very, VERY excited in the office.

We’ve all been reminiscing about the Christmases we had when we were young. I think my favourite memory is waiting for Santa and peeping out of the window hoping that I’d see him on his sleigh.

A lot of the team vividly remember running downstairs early on Christmas morning in their pyjamas, and impatiently waiting for Mum and Dad to follow, so they could start opening their presents. (A few of them even confessed to ripping the sides of the wrapping paper and trying to take a sneak peak at what Santa had brought them!)

It hasn’t changed a lot now we’re all grown up… This year I can’t wait to…

  • Spend time with my family
  • Tuck into a roast dinner on Christmas day
  • Indulge in lots of mince pies
  • Laze around in my Christmas jumper 
  • Wrap presents (and of course open them on Christmas morning)

We’ve also been talking about our New Year’s resolutions and what we’re going to try and do next year – have you thought about what your New Year’s resolutions will be?

The parents on our team have come up with some resolutions for their children already, such as getting them to:

  • Keep their room tidy
  • Do their homework on time
  • Eat all their greens
  • Take up a sport
  • Put their hand up more in class

Our ‘Top Ten Childcare Voucher Tips’ for the new year...

If you have a child at school, juggling your childcare needs whilst you’re at work can often be a challenge – you need to cover the gap between you starting/finishing work and core school hours during term-time, and then you have to sort out cover during the 14 weeks of school holidays!

As the autumn term comes to a close, with the winter holidays almost upon us, here are our ‘Top Ten Childcare Voucher Tips’ to help you make the most of your childcare vouchers in the New Year:

1) Childcare vouchers can be used for school-age children, up to 15 years old (16 if registered disabled).

2) There are many types of ‘wrap-around care’ for school-age children during term-time, including breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and childminders. You can use your childcare vouchers to pay for all of these!

3) You don’t have to use your childcare vouchers immediately. You can save them up for when you need them most.

4) If you don’t currently order the maximum amount of childcare vouchers allowed for your tax band, you can increase your order to the maximum, and save the vouchers you don’t use each month, for a time when your childcare costs are likely to be higher.

5) You can use childcare vouchers during the 14 weeks of school holidays to pay for day camps, residential activity holidays, holiday clubs and playschemes.

6) Residential activity holidays and day camp providers include Barracudas, Camp Beaumont Day Camps, Camp Beaumont Residential, Supercamps and Kings Camps, and many more! For details of their offers and discounts visit our website.

7) You can easily catch up on any childcare vouchers you've missed within each tax year, if your employer allows you to. Simply log on to the ‘My vouchers’ tab on your Computershare online account and see what outstanding balance you have available.

8) You can find childcare for older children by:

a. Asking at your child’s school about extended services available during the holidays

b. Visiting your local authority website and searching on “Family Information Service”

c. Visiting websites such as www.netmums.com or www.mumsnet.com and forsaking about childcare in your area

d. Logging in to your Computershare account and searching by postcode to see which carers are nearest to you and registered with us. If they don’t appear, they can be added for free – just give us a call!

e. Searching online for residential activity holiday and day camp providers, and holiday clubs and playschemes

9) Don’t forget you can use your childcare vouchers for more than one child, and to pay more than one carer. And you should always ask your school/carer if they accept childcare vouchers.

10) Because the value of your childcare voucher is taken from your gross pay, you don’t pay any tax and National Insurance on it – this is how you save money. If both you and your partner are Basic rate taxpayers, and you’re both taking the maximum £243 in vouchers each month, you can save up to £1,866 in tax and NI exemptions as a family each year!

Christmas-baby

We hope that you find these tips useful?

Have a great festive season and we’ll catch you back here in 2015!

Radhika from the CVS team

Christmas competition time!

This year we’re doing things a little differently for our Christmas competition – we’ve kept an eye on any early letters to Santa and we’ve got our hands on some of ‘Hamleys’ top ten most wanted Christmas toys for 2014’.

The team are finding it hard to keep away from the toys – so with no further ado our Facebook ‘Christmas Quiz’ competition has officially launched!

In total we’ve got NINE prizes - yes, NINE prizes to give away – the goodies up for grabs are a Xeno toy, Ice Skating Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, a My Friend Cayla doll, a Kidizoom Smart Watch in pink or blue, a DohVinci Style and Store Vanity design kit, a Transformers Chomp & Stomp robot, and a BoomCo Rapid Madness blaster!

cvs-competition-prizes

There are 3 simple steps you need to follow to get involved:

1) Head over to our Facebook page 

2) For each of the nine ‘Christmas Quiz’ prize draw posts we put on Facebook during the competition period, you have to answer the question correctly for the chance to win the prize that’s up for grabs that day.

3) You’ll have to be quick though – you have to give your answer before midnight the same day, to be in with a chance of winning that day’s prize.

The nuts and bolts of how it works after you’ve entered…

We thought we’d take a little time out to explain how the bits on our side work, as we understand you’ll want to know if you’re a winner as soon as possible!

We’ll be running nine different prize draws during the competition period (Monday 10th November to Monday 1st December 2014 inclusive). Each of the nine prizes is available for one day only.

You can enter all nine ‘Christmas Quiz’ prize draws if you wish, but you can only answer each of the nine questions once. If you submit multiple answers to the same ‘Christmas Quiz’ question we will only accept your first answer.

You have to give a correct answer on the same day that the ‘Christmas Quiz’ question is posted, in order to be entered in that particular prize draw.

We’ll put all the people who submitted correct answers into our special random selector tool to pick a winner from all the eligible entries.

After we’ve picked a lucky winner, we’ll contact them by direct message via Facebook within three working days of that specific competition post.

If you don’t manage to get back to us within five days or you reject the prize, we’ll pick another winner.

Once everything has been confirmed and the prize has been accepted by you – we can make it official by posting details of all nine winners on our online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck!

The CVS team