The future of Childcare Vouchers - consultation begins

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By Computershare Voucher Services managing director Julian Foster

In March the Government announced there would be a change to the way childcare vouchers were delivered, and a new payment structure.

Not long after that I wrote a blog which explained how we saw it, and what we thought it might mean for you.

I said at the time that there was much still to be decided, and a consultation would begin soon.

Well... that consultation will begin this week and it’s a great opportunity for you to get involved.

“Why should I care?”

From autumn 2015, you might find yourself either better or worse off, and you may feel you want to express an opinion on that.

As for us... our first take is that we’re pleased there will be an extension of childcare vouchers to the self-employed, something we have long campaigned for, and that extra funding has been found by Government to support working families.

But we do have real concerns over the delivery. We fear that by removing employers from the mix (currently, childcare vouchers are a benefit offered by employers) the system could become unwieldy.

We will still need to validate employment for parents, as we do now, but also confirm their personal circumstances. We would, for example, have to ensure that they’re not in receipt of the childcare element of Universal Credit.

A process will need to be developed to confirm eligibility with a new Government system – to be built just for this. We are concerned that will complicate things for parents.

We will be working closely on this consultation, and in time will formally submit our thoughts. It would be great to know that mums and dads across the UK had also expressed their views too – whatever they may be.

The consultation page can be found here for you to read and comment on.   You can also contact us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions or comments.