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Childcare Vouchers: Family member acting as nanny - is this possible.

(7 Posts)
Gatorade Thu 20-Sep-12 10:45:30

I am currently trawling through HMRC guidance so I should be able to work this out myself but if anybody happens to know the answers to my questions I would be very grateful.

I am considering returning to work for 3 days per week early next year.

As part of my maternity package my employer will give me approx GBP 650 per month of childcare vouchers on top of my base pay for the first year I return to work (I understand that I will pay tax on the majority of this benefit). I would if possible like to use these childcare vouchers as there is no cash alternative to this benefit.

I was originally going to employ a live in nanny and part pay with these vouchers.

However, a relative, my cousin-in law-has offered to look after my DD in return for payment which would work out cheaper than a nanny (The cost isn't really a consideration though - I am still considering the pros and cons of having a family member looking after DD and don't really want to get into that on this thread!)

Looking at HMR&C guidance she would not fall into the 'relative' category (which seems to include close relatives only), if she therefore registers with Ofsted as an approved childcare provider (I will look into what she needs to do to be able to do this) would I be able to pay her with these vouchers?

Would there be any issue with where the childcare is to be provided? I think she will predominately come to my house but she may take my DD to her property for a couple of hours in the early evening when her own children return home from school.

Thanks in advance for you help with this

wishiwasonholiday Thu 20-Sep-12 11:29:08

As long as she's not at her house for more than 2 hours a day and her insurance will cover her for going to hers that bit should be ok.

Not sure about the voucher bit but someone else will no doubt answer soon.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 20-Sep-12 11:30:22

sure nick will clarify this but think if cares for more then 2 hrs in own home then she becomes a childminder and will need to be registered

also if caring in own home then her nanny insurance may not be valid

but yes a registered nanny can use the vouchers

also i would be VERY wary of a relative having care as sometimes problems happen and can fall out and then whole family gets involved

never employ friends or family in my honest opinion smile

nannynick Thu 20-Sep-12 18:20:24

The going to her house could be a problem. As Blondes says, it may or may not invalidate the insurance, it can breach the childcare legislation (up to 2 hours is ok but any more than that would breach the rules, as they are not a close relative).

What are the hours of work you are likely to do? Is a nanny the only option, or would perhaps a childminder be something to consider?

MrAnchovy Thu 20-Sep-12 22:14:21

Not sure what you mean by your "cousin-in-law". The key point is their relationship to the child: to be qualifying child care the carer must not be the child's "parent, step-parent, foster parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, brother or sister, whether by blood, half blood, marriage or civil partnership".

Unless this person plans to register as a childminder, you would employ her as a "home childcarer" which is Ofsted-speak for nanny, and is someone who "cares for a child in the child's own home". That doesn't mean that all of the care is provided in the child's own home of course, outings are expected, but "outings" to the nanny's home are a grey area, and yes Ofsted could become concerned if she were spending more than 2 hours at her home on any day. She would have to register on the voluntary part of the childcare register which requires Common Core Skills training (or equivalent), First Aid, Insurance and a CRB check.

Gatorade Fri 21-Sep-12 14:41:05

Thank you very much for all of your help. I still can't decide what to do! Financially, it looks like it could make sense as the childcare vouchers could be used however I am not sure if having a relative looking after DD is the right answer.

MrA - by my cousin-in-law I mean my husbands first cousin, think this makes her DD's second cousin and too distant to be captured under the 'relative' definition on ofsted's website.

nannynick I think I would chose an unrelated nanny over a childminder as my hours are not always predictable (as in can be long, the days and core hours are predictable). My original plan employ a 5 day per week nanny housekeeper who would look after DD for 3 days per week and house-keep for 2 days. It was at this point that my cousin-in-law (who is a doctor (GP) two days a week but hasn't worked full time since having her children) offered to have DD as she thinks it is better for a child to be with a relative. I think personally a qualified child-care provider might be better but I now don't want to offend her by saying no and her children have turned out ok!

I think I might have difficulties over the 2 hour in child care providers home rule though as it is possible that DD could be there fore 3 hours some days. How to Ofsted keep track of these things?

nannynick Fri 21-Sep-12 15:50:57

They respond to complaints, so a bit hit & miss if they would find out. Good excuse though for you not to use the relative if you do decide against it.

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