Advanced search

This topic is for discussing childcare options. If you want to advertise, please use your Local site.

Voucher scheme a complicated con

(10 Posts)
sherb Wed 04-May-05 22:43:24

I think the voucher system is red-tape bureaucracy-creating hell. Does anyone else? I need guidance!

My nanny is a true pro. She has 22 years experience -including 12 years with her last family and a couple of years helping out at a nursery school. But she has no formal childcare qualifications.

If I want to use childcare vouchers to pay her, I have to persuade her to give up a weekend for an Induction course (£60?) and another weekend for a first aid course (£150?). And then I have to pay Nestor £96 for an approval document. Cost: to me £250, to her two lost weekends.I have also offered to give her days off in return for attending the courses. This will 'cost' me around £300, added to the £250 I will have already shelled out for the cost of the courses/certificates.

I get a tax break out of this, worth approx £1000 annually. But what's in it for her? I have offered her a one-off bonus equivalent to my first year's savings under the scheme but the induction course Introduction to Childminding Practice appears to combine the bleeding obvious with the utterly irrelevant. And she's not happy at the thought of having to be lectured by people who have a great deal less experience/know-how than she does. And who can blame her?

Does anyone know an easier/better/simpler way of doing this? Or should I simply accept that childcare vouchers are NOT designed for bourgeouis working mothers who employ nannies in their homes - as opposed to those who use institutionalised childcare - and that clever Gordon Brown, posing as friend-to-all-mothers, has simply done all he can to discourage take-up? All shortcuts, tips etc gratefully accepted.

CountessDracula Wed 04-May-05 23:04:12


I think there has to be a basic minimum standard for you to claim a benefit for your childcare, otherwise the system could be too open to abuse (eg anyone could say they were looking after your children even if they weren't etc)

I agree that it is ludicrous that someone with your nanny's experience needs to do the induction course - there should be an exemption for her. I disagree re the first aid course - should be a minimum requirement for any childcarer that has sole charge of a child (including parents!)

And as for what is in it for your nanny - it will make her far more employable in the future as any working parents will only want to employ a nanny with these qualifications so that they can claim the voucher tax exemption. Don't really see why you have to give her a bonus if you are paying for her courses and giving her TOIL for the time spent on the course. You are in fact making her more employable in future.

elastamum Wed 04-May-05 23:19:06

I have also looked into this and the registration is £96 per year not a one off. So we get to pay every year??? I think it that the scheme has been handed over to a private agency who are ripping off us'hardworking families' on behalf of the government Ha Ha Ha!

sherb Wed 04-May-05 23:47:46

Thanks Dracula.
You are doubtless right about the first aid course. I'm simply surprised they take so long and cost so much. You can't be a nanny for 22 years and NOT know the key stuff, like what to do when a child chokes, how to recognise meningitis etc. Maybe I should find somewhere which offers a first aid certificate test rather than a blow-by-blow course. Advice welcome.

You say that she shd like the qualifications rigmarole because the certificates will make her more employable elsewhere. But she's already pretty damn employable, given the experience, the references, her obvious skill with children.

AND, to be frank, I don't want her to leave for another job for, say, 12 years.

Oh well, it's too late to take back the offer of the bonus now. And I've told my employers that I want to take some of my salary in vouchers. So my plea for shortcuts/tips/help re courses/red tape still stands...if there's anyone out there at this ridiculous hour.

UKMickey Thu 05-May-05 00:12:52

12hr 1st aid courses are usually around £75+VAT redX, St Johns ambulance, local college (Paed or for people working with children 1st aid). They are courses which can be done via corrospondence would need to look on accepted courses.
Just think to be registered all you need is a min of a 12hr course, a 1st aid cert, & CRB Enhanced check (which can only mean that certain people both genders deserve it, others have not been caught or not enough evidence so lets try childcare).

To actually be a qualified registered nanny is a certain qualification that stands on its own.

What I find extremely hard to believe that the goverment for its own employees, including military personel the government don't recognise it for their own employees or government officials.

I personally believe think it should be mandatory for all potential nannies, childcarers voluntary or paid should be registered through an independant government organisation & not put out to tender from if I remember part of a nursing agency group.

Oh well politic's!!!!!!!

badgerhead Thu 05-May-05 13:33:11

I know that the voucher schme approval is being done by Nestor & not Ofsted like us childminders, however if you, or your nanny, log onto the National Childminding Association Website there is more information on the scheme there & what the NCMA are offering to nannies who take up the scheme, the link is here

uwila Thu 05-May-05 21:36:36

Oh goodness. Don't even get me started. Yes, I think this scheme does attempt to help working parents. But, I think it does far more to support Nestor than it does the parents.

If we as parents are to take on all the responsibilities of being employers (as we are obviously required to do) then we should have the freedom to hire whomever we want to look after our children. I really believe it shouldn't be subject to anyone else's opinion. Not Nestor. Not the government. The choice should be mine and mine alone. I accept, however, that it would be reasonable to check that this person really is looking after my children so I can go to work. But, why not just require a payslip? Surely that proves that he/she works for me.

sherb Thu 05-May-05 22:22:23

I've just discovered an old thread on this with lots of useful info, including Uwila's invaluable contribs.

NEW THOUGHT Does anyone know anything about this Introduction to Childminding Course which seems to be the simplest of the 'induction' courses on offer? Is there a way of - erm - short-cutting? Ingeniously, I thought of asking the nanny to do a correspondence/distance-learning version of course, but she's fixed me with a glare and said 'I'm not writing bleedin' essays, mate. That's your job.' She's right, of course. I could write her essays or modules or whatever they are called in assessment-speak...and she could get the certificate. Anyone see a hitch? Anyone interested in the commercial possibilities?

majorstress Fri 06-May-05 15:36:54

I agree sherb, i already can;t afford to keep my nanny for long, so there's no way I can afford to pay all those course and registration fees as well. And I daren;t even ask her to pay, why should she? There are loads of parents who can;t get the vouchers anyway because they have to put their own employer through a red tape treadmill too. Watch out about the first aid courses, too, they have to cover certain areas like anaphylaxis which isn't standard.

badgerhead Fri 06-May-05 16:36:53

I have been a registered childminder for the last 10 years and only in the last three years have I done both my NVQ level 3 & the full Certificate in Childminding Practice. The CCP includes the Introduction to Childminding Practice, that whilst I agree is aimed at people newly registering as childminders I still found it useful. (btw I did my NVQ first) Yes there is an assignment to do to complete the course but it is short & easy to do. They are marked by an external assessor. With regards to the First Aid courses there are lots of approved providers across the country, each County EYDCP approves one or two providers for their county plus also The Red Cross & St John Ambulance both do Paediatric First Courses which are approved by NCMA & the Playgroups Association. The first Aid course charges do vary from around £35 to £70 so it is worth hunting around to find out the prices & availability that fits in with your nanny. Around here they are either done over two Saturdays or over 4 or 6 evenings, totalling 12 hours which is the requirement.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: