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:

Edenred
Kiddivouchers
Computershare
Sodexo
Early Years Vouchers
Busybees
Fideliti

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.