Best practice in childcare voucher provision promoted as new industry body is launched

Today is a significant day for the childcare voucher industry as it sees the launch of the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA); the new industry body founded by several leading childcare voucher providers, including CVS, to promote best practice within the sector.

The introduction of the CVPA will ensure that parents, employers and childcare providers receive the highest standard of service from all the UK’s childcare voucher providers.

Standards and procedures that childcare voucher providers must adhere to are set out in the Code of Practice that’s been put together by the founder members. In order to become and remain a member, all providers will have to demonstrate to the CVPA that these standards are maintained on an ongoing basis. The Code of Practice is founded on the following key principles:

• All voucher funds will be kept separately from the Childcare Provider’s own capital;
• Data will be held securely and managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998;
• Payments will be initiated to Childcare Providers within one working day of receipt of a valid voucher;
• Service standards will be transparent and all documentation will be clear and not misleading; and
• Complaints will be handled properly, with the right to complain to the CVPA if a Member has not adhered to the Code of Practice.

The introduction of the Code of Practice is a positive step forward for the industry, with an emphasis on quality and consistency of service delivery. I wholeheartedly support the introduction of the Code and have always believed that these principles should be the minimum standards customers should expect from a childcare voucher provider. This new Code will assist in making that a reality, providing parents, employers and childcare providers with the certainty that all providers are working to a uniform industry standard.

Fiona Shields, Chair of the CVPA said:“The launch of the CVPA and the publication of the Code of Practice marks an important moment for the childcare voucher providers industry. By coming together to drive forward best practice, members of the CVPA are demonstrating their commitment to providing both parents and carers with the highest standards of service. The establishment of the CVPA will help ensure the successful and effective continuation of the childcare vouchers scheme and its role in developing a vibrant and diverse childcare sector.”

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association said:“NDNA welcomes the launch of the CVPA and we hope that it will help remove some of the common issues in the current voucher system. Nurseries understand the value of childcare vouchers to families, and how crucial they are for parents in ensuring that work pays. The CVPA sets out the minimum standards that parents and childcare providers can expect and we hope that voucher companies will accept the CVPA as an industry standard and work to ensure that they meet these. We look forward to the CVPA Code of Practice being implemented by voucher companies and hopefully hearing feedback about how this has improved the experience of vouchers for both families and nurseries.”

For more information about the CVPA, visit the website.