In March, we got the fantastic news that childcare vouchers will still be available to new entrants up until 4 October 2018.
New to childcare vouchers? You need to apply by 4 October
But don’t let that date fool you, you need to have a childcare voucher taken from your pay by that date, and it takes time to sign up with your employer - and their payroll deadlines will have an impact. Most employers need a month's notice to make changes to payroll, so you’ll need to contact your payroll or HR department by the end of August to ensure you get a voucher in your September pay, ahead of the October deadline.
5 reasons you should be applying now
- With childcare vouchers it’s possible to save up to £933 a year through tax and NI exemptions.
- If both parents join their employer’s childcare voucher scheme, the potential savings could be doubled!
- Childcare vouchers aren’t just for nursery aged children; they can be used for any child up to 15 years old, or 16 if registered disabled.
- Many parents in Britain are now spending more on childcare than their mortgage, research suggests – so getting registered for childcare vouchers is now more important than ever.
- By providing childcare vouchers, your employer makes significant National Insurance savings too!
Things to note
If you’re a new parent joining the childcare voucher scheme, or a parent whose eligibility has lapsed because your last childcare voucher order was more than a year ago, you must have a voucher deducted from your pay by 4 October 2018.
If you miss the deadline, Tax-Free Childcare will be your only option in future, and this could be a problem as you may not be eligible for it (you can check if you are here).
Ask your employer when their last payroll cut-off date is for you to have a voucher taken from your pay by 4 October.
We believe the majority of families will be better off with tax credits, childcare vouchers, or a combination of both. But don’t just take our word for it, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has spoken out about how much you can save. If you want to find out more, read his childcare vouchers guide here.
If you need help deciding what would work better for you, childcare vouchers or the government’s new alternative Tax Free Childcare scheme, you can use our handy decision tree here.