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New childcare vouchers will cause confusion


The changes in childcare support later in the year may leave families confused, a leading charity has claimed.

The Family and Daycare Trust has claimed that the new workplace voucher system will leave families with a lot of big decisions to make. At the moment, the Employer Supported Childcare scheme allows working parents, who are not self-employed, to claim support to pay for registered childminders. The vouchers can be bought by parents before tax for up to £243, totalling an annual saving of up to £930.

Later this year, that system will be replaced by a scheme where parents will have to “top up” and claim government support worth 20p for every £1 they spend. Critics have claimed that this scheme is complex. As well as this, many big companies actually saved money with the scheme as they do not have to pay national insurance contributions on childcare vouchers. Some firms are now considering whether to continue offering childcare vouchers.

Jill Rutter, of the Family and Daycare Trust, said:
"Parents in the £30,000 to £40,000 income group have big decisions to make about what system is best for them. Lots of people have variable incomes, they do overtime, they are paid on commission, it is incredibly complicated."

The Treasury has said:
"Tax-Free Childcare will give almost two million families up to £2,000 of support per year per child, via a new simple online system [supporting] working families to help them with the costs of childcare, and enable them to work - or increase their hours in work - should they wish to."

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