There are a lot of preconceptions about childcare and childcare vouchers. Let us bust 3 common myths for you today!
Myth 1: You can only use childcare vouchers for pre-schoolers
Fact: Vouchers definitely aren’t just for pre-schoolers. Registered childcare providers who look after school-age children can also accept them as payment. In fact, they can be used for any children up to 15 years old (or 16 if registered disabled) in a variety of settings such as childminders, breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday clubs. These types of childcare settings help bridge the gap between a school’s core hours and a parent’s working day.
Myth 2: Childminders aren't regulated
Fact: All childminders are registered with Ofsted in England or an equivalent governing body in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and will have to go through regular inspections. If they’re caring for children under 5 they will be on the Early Years Register and also need to make sure they deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. Those who are registered on the Childcare Register can also care for 5-7 year olds. As well as the above, they have to hold:
· Public liability insurance
· An up-to-date paediatric first aid certificate
· A valid Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and sign up to the update service
· A doctor’s certificate showing they are mentally and physically fit for childcare
· Permission from their landlord to use their premises as a childcare facility if they rent
Myth 3: My children are too old and no longer need childcare
Fact: Don’t write off the chance to save just because you think your children are too old - childcare vouchers are for children of up to 15 (16 if registered disabled).
You can also save up your vouchers throughout the year and use them when you need them most - this can be especially handy for childcare during the long summer holidays. The vouchers can be used for holiday clubs, residential summer camps, activity holidays and much more.
Always remember to ask your carer if they accept childcare vouchers – you could be pleasantly surprised!