By CVS managing director Julian Foster
My right arm-related news
Last month I was due to give a guest speech on childcare to the Labour Party conference. It was a good time to do it since the cost of childcare was top of the news agenda – again.
I say I was due to give the speech... until the “bursa” in my right arm went berserk and left me with a serious infection and one painful, Popeye-like limb. And instructions from serious-looking medical personnel to stay away from political speeches.
You’ll have to Google “bursa” like I and everyone I know did (except my doctors, thankfully).
I’m feeling much better now and ready to talk about childcare.
New scheme, much interest
The consultation on the end of salary sacrifice childcare vouchers finished this month – and you won’t be surprised to hear it attracted a very great deal of interest from parents.
Although the formal consultation is now closed I and other leading providers are still talking to senior Government officials.
What I can say is we haven’t given up hope of keeping the link between childcare and employers.
The model of support described by the Government last March is essentially a benefit, which removed employers from the picture.
Why should we keep the link between childcare and employers?
Employers want to retain it – 97% say offering childcare savings is part of being a good employer.
Staff want to retain it. In a survey conducted by HMRC over 80% of employees said they wanted their employer to be involved.
Simplicity – employers currently carry out many of the checks which in the new system would be left to the government.
Room for error – The current system means only eligible parents using registered childcare can use it. We cannot yet predict the same for the new system.
These reasons are why we’re trying – for future parents, employers, carers and taxpayers – to keep the link between childcare and employers.