I was alarmed to discover that more than one in three parents have considered giving up work because they feel unable to cope with childcare costs. Our recent survey of 1000 working parents showed that 36% considered staying at home instead; a clear indication of the financial pressure that many new parents feel.
Many parents clearly consider that it may be more cost effective not to work than to pay for childcare; with reports that childcare costs in the UK are higher than in any other country it’s a position that’s easy to understand. What we do not know is the number of people who decided it was more cost effective not to work than to pay for childcare.
More has to be done to raise awareness of what is available to help parents. Employers, carers and government all have a role to play in making sure that the return to work for parents, particularly new parents, is made as easy as possible.
Particularly as our survey also showed that 71% of working parents worry less about their childcare arrangements now, than before they started using vouchers. And the same percentage spends less than a week planning their childcare. These stats highlight the significant benefit Childcare Vouchers can provide for working parents and their use should be encouraged and promoted as much as possible.
Eligible working parents can exchange up to £243 per month of their gross salary for Childcare Vouchers. The exchanged part of the salary is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions; allowing parents to each make savings of up to £1,196* per year on their childcare costs. Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay for all types of registered childcare for children up to 16 years old.
For more information about how Childcare Vouchers can help you save money, visit our website.
*Higher rate and additional higher rate tax-payers may save more