Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers are available to parents who:

  • Work for an employer
  • Have a child/children up to 15 years old (16 years old if disabled)
  • Attend an Ofsted-registered childcare setting 

Childcare vouchers are usually available as part of a salary sacrifice.  Talk to your employer to see if they take part in a voucher scheme and if you could benefit.

Employees can receive up to £55 per week in childcare vouchers.  These are exempt from Tax and National Insurance contributions.  This means both employees and employers make tax savings. Employees can approach their employers about joining a scheme.

In order to qualify for the scheme, you must be the parent or legal guardian of the child.

Salary sacrifice is a reduction in your normal pay in return for a childcare voucher.

If you are in receipt of tax credits we strongly advise you to find out how they will be affected before you participate in a childcare voucher scheme. You cannot claim both WTC childcare allowance and childcare vouchers. Visit the Better off calculator.

Tax-Free Childcare is a new scheme being introduced in early 2017 to help working parents save on the cost of childcare.  Some parents (including self-employed parents who cannot take advantage of childcare vouchers) will be better off with the new scheme but you should check before signing up.  The This is Money website is a helpful source of information.  You cannot claim childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare together.

You can use childcare vouchers for children up to the age of 15 (until 1 September following their 15th birthday), or 16 if they are disabled (until 1 September following their 16th birthday). Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay for all types of Ofsted-registered childcare, including day nurseries, nannies, au pairs, crèches, childminders, out of school clubs, holiday schemes, activity clubs and qualifying childcare offered by schools.

Find Ofsted-registered childcare

Not all providers take childcare vouchers - check with your childcare provider.

If they don’t, it is very easy for them to join a scheme. There are several childcare vouchers schemes available, including the following:

Early Years Vouchers

The savings you can make using the scheme are based on your salary per parent, not the number of children. Each parent can request up to a maximum of £243 per month or £55 per week of childcare vouchers, depending on whether they are a basic, higher or additional rate tax payer. There is more information about childcare vouchers on the GOV.UK website.

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