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Childcare vouchers from employer - how long valid?

(12 Posts)
goldenoldie Fri 22-Apr-05 15:19:05

My employer offers childcare vouchers which I am eligable for now. However, I have a baby on the way and would like to use them for childcare after I return from my maternity leave - which will be over a year from now. Will the vouchers still be valid?

Pamina3 Fri 22-Apr-05 15:23:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

miranda2 Fri 22-Apr-05 15:53:15

I think you have to actually be paying for childcare now to qualify for the vouchers.

majorstress Fri 22-Apr-05 15:58:40

Hmm, interesting....I have wondered about this "banking" vouchers idea too, because I have to pay termly in advance for some of my childcare (Montessori and anfterschool care). Anyone have any experience with this?

goldenoldie Fri 22-Apr-05 16:43:19

Pam - I have an older child and use an au-pair for child-care now, and none of the after school activities will take vouchers - so they are no good to me unless I can save them up and use them later.

Pamina3 Fri 22-Apr-05 16:44:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marina Fri 22-Apr-05 22:56:36

Might be able to help here, we had a briefing from Busy Bees, our new voucher provider, at lunchtime today.

Under the new scheme you can "bank" payments either by saving up the paper vouchers, or allowing your online equivalent to run for a period before you make a payment

BUT to register at all you MUST have an approved, named care provider to start with. So you do already need to have made your choice.

The Busy Bees lady recommended this strategy with caution to a pregnant enquirer, because unless you know for sure that the care provider you nominate will take the vouchers, and you will definitely want to use them all those months down the line, it can be a hassle to get them refunded.

In MajorStress's scenario she suggested you start saving now and the benefits will kick in when you have several months' vouchers to offset against your next termly invoice (we will be in the same position with ds' afterschool club if we have any allowance left over after dd's nursery fees hoover them up)

jothorpe Sat 23-Apr-05 18:30:20

Marina, thank you for posting such helpful info.

A voucher provider has told me that their vouchers are valid for One Year, so you could stockpile vouchers in advance, if you knew which childcarer you were using.

I don't think you can start getting vouchers until the child is born... could be wrong there but it would make sense!

An interesting note for those of you with 3/4 year olds who recieve funding for daycare/pre-school. It appears that you can't use both Vouchers and the DfES funding... but you can deduct the amount of funding from the vouchers and thus can have vouchers for the remaining amount. So far, only one voucher provider I've been in touch with has mentioned this.

UKMickey Sat 23-Apr-05 20:31:35

Excellent website lots of info & links, FAQ's etc Includes Company Employers, Parent Employers & Carers (Childcarers/Nannies)etc

majorstress Mon 25-Apr-05 10:04:40

Thanks, it is getting clearer, and I for one would like to give a big thank you to all who are so helpful-thanks for asking my questions for me Marina! SO on with the surviving-the-childcare-maze project!
Now all I have to do is: find out if the after school club is signed up; persuade my work creche and my private Montessori to sign up, and my unqualified-in-uk nanny to do an approved childcare course (£150 is the cheapest correspondence course I have found so far) and a paediatric First aid course (don't know cost yet) (she already has the enhanced CRB), then she can sign up-at a registration cost of £96. (I think that you could do this with your au pair, goldenoldie, maybe you can find cheaper courses than I have-let me know)I expect I will have to pay all the fees as well as explain it all to all of them. Hopefully nanny won't then resign, go on holiday, get sick or pregnant or eat all our food. I think I will go lie down-but oh, I am at work and instead, I have to actually go and do some now! gosh fancy that. Maybe dh could do some legwork-oh but he is at work too, and I will be telling all of this to his back this evening as he heads out to his climbing-(message to self: must-re-read "how to get your point across in 30 seconds", and "how to talk so men will listen". : Oh well this is life-deal with it, Me!)

Azure Mon 25-Apr-05 10:27:25

Just wanted to add that for our voucher provider there is in reality no voucher expiry date - there is a nominal one of a year (I think), but the provider will just renew this if still unused. It is true that you need to specify an approved childcarer when signing up to the new scheme; however, it is possible to change the carer (provided still approved) or of course have more than one. Therefore if vouchers are not issued / carer not paid until actually needed (as is the case with our voucher company) it is theoretically possible to provide any approved name when signing up to the scheme, save your vouchers, and then use them as you want later on.

goldenoldie Mon 25-Apr-05 10:54:56

Fantastic - thanks everyone for the info.

I am entitled to vouchers now - employer provides them till children are 11, but at a lower rate from age 5 - 10. New baby not due till later in the year.

Thus my plan is to give employer the name of my local nursery, which I probably won't use. Stockpile my vouchers to use for after maternity leave - a year away.

Won't bother to attempt to get au-pair trained. The last time I paid for a course for an au-pair she promptly did the course and left!

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