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can someone explain childcare vouchers to me

(11 Posts)
potas Mon 25-Mar-13 13:52:55

and make it as simple as possible please!

My employer will do them and my nursery will accept them - should be simple but ??
How do I get them. Do I have to join an online provider? How does it all work. when I have looked online it seems as though my employer needs to be registered with the same supplier but they are really unhelpful at giving me any information - they say they just write cheques so I just cant understand how it works
Can anyone help

MrAnchovy Mon 25-Mar-13 14:37:50

Ask your employer what information you need to give them and how the childcarer provider can contact them to provide payment details, proof of Ofsted registration etc.

Anything you find online will relate to specific voucher providers' schemes and will not apply to your employer who clearly doesn't use one of these.

potas Mon 25-Mar-13 16:37:18

Ok - so I dont need to do anything online? My employer just seems to be leaving it up to me but I dont understand how it works

SoldeInvierno Mon 25-Mar-13 17:26:59

my employer provides me with the ACCOR ones from childcare.co.uk

I have an online account with this web site and every month the vouchers get paid into it. Then you transfer the necessary amount of vouchers to the childcare provider. They need give you their online account code.

So, first of all you need to ask your employer which vouchers they provide.

nannynick Mon 25-Mar-13 19:46:42

Your employer may operate their own scheme, so what would happen is that they deduct the money from your salary (before tax/ni is calculated) and they pay that to the childcare provider. You are then taxed as normal on the remaining salary.

HMRC: IR115 - Paying for Childcare (pdf)
"If you joined your employer’s scheme on or after 6 April 2011 you can still get up to £55 each week free of tax and NICs if your employment earnings are not more than the higher rate threshold. If your earnings are more than the higher or additional rate thresholds then the amount you can get free of tax and NICs is reduced."
Read the booklet for more info about the amount your employer can pay using voucher (or Directly Contracted Childcare) before it become taxable.

nannynick Mon 25-Mar-13 19:49:41

Can you find someone at work who already uses the companies scheme and talk to them about what they needed to do. Sounds like it may be a Directly Contracted Childcare arrangement rather than childcare vouchers, if the employer is just writing a cheque. Max weekly/monthly amounts are the same as for childcare vouchers.

I use kiddivouchers from my employer am NHS used to be busy bees ones but then contract came up for tender so they changed was pain the arse when they changed to be honest and they obviously get something out of it to have changed provider (nightmare for thos people who used busy bees nurseries as they got an extra discount for using busy bees vouchers!)

Husbands work didnt do them when he asked but someone else had asked at same time so they just signed upto edenred (childcarevouchers.co.uk) as a sister company used them - no hassle to them really.

lljkk Mon 01-Apr-13 14:26:06

I think point is that OP's employer doesn't currently offer & employer doesn't know how, either.

lljkk Mon 01-Apr-13 14:27:57

There's a lot your employer would have to do to sign up & administrate, that's why so few employers offer them. Van't just leave it to the employee.

lljkk Mon 01-Apr-13 14:28:16

sorry 4 typo!

BellaGallica Tue 02-Apr-13 15:29:40

I set up a CCV scheme for my own company (only 2 employees at the time!) a few years ago and it wasn't difficult. First I had to contact the tax office on behalf of the company to say that I wanted to set up a scheme. I think I just sent a short letter to say this would be on a salary sacrifice basis and I might have had also to send a letter to confirm that the employee in question agreed to the sacrifice.

I didn't use a CCV company and there's no requirement to use one. I drafted my own vouchers which had all the details required. In fact, the HMRC chap I spoke to on the phone said that they were not particularly bothered what the vouchers looked like; the main issue is that the employer cannot provide cash directly to the employee or the provider so the transfer of cash has to be on the basis of redeeming a voucher which cannot be used in any other way. I think you had to state the date, the employer, the employee, the amount and the childcare provider's name plus their OFSTED registration number. The mechanism was then for the employee to hand over the voucher to the provider. The provider then had to pass this to the employer to be redeemed and the employer would then make the payment. The employer and nursery had to keep copies/counterparts of all the vouchers and the details of redemption but it wasn't very onerous.

I'm not sure how amenable large nurseries are to using DIY vouchers. My employee used a small nursery and also a registered CM and neither had any issues with redeeming my DIY vouchers, but I have heard that some nurseries are inflexible and will only accept CCVs from the large voucher companies.

Your employer has to initiate the scheme but it's not a big deal to set up or to administer and it actually saves them money on NI contributions. They can always sign up with a CCV provider but this will cost more. Good luck!

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