Ds starts primary school this August and our childcare costs will plummet as a result <does a happy dance>
Up until now I've taken the maximum I can in childcare vouchers and paid almost the same again by standing order. Now that I'll only have to pay for after school club I'll be able to pay it all in vouchers and reduce the salary sacrifice, but I'm wondering if I should continue to buy some extra to save up for holiday clubs etc?
We don't quite know how we'll work the holidays yet. I can manage up until next Easter using annual leave but Summer 2012 will be a mixture of mine and dh's annual leave, possibly a week with grandparents and the rest some sort of paid for care.
Does anyone have any experience of saving up childcare vouchers for this sort of thing? I don't want to risk buying too many and them expiring.
I've saved up electronic vouchers for around a year before with no problem; they only "expire" if you leave your job, and even then you have a period of time to use them (could be a year? but I'm not sure).
Thanks for the responses. I need to have a hunt around and get an idea of what holiday clubs are charging. As I say, hopefully we could cover 3 weeks with dh & my annual leave (1 week family holiday and one week each either side), one week with gps (only 3 days really as I work pt), which would leave 3-4 weeks we'd have to pay for holiday club, but this would be on top of payments to the after school club as they split it over 12 months.
It sounds like it would be good for budgeting to even buy an extra £30-£40 per month.
I use my vouchers for before and after school care (clubs after school can be paid for with these vouchers). Holiday clubs and DD had 3 days at PGL at half term on vouchers. We use supercamps holiday club and it costs around £36 per day.
Ours are valid til the dc are 15, no worries about expiry here.
And our childcare needs (3 at primary) are very irregular, so I do collect the vouchers every month and have lots stacked up, but they go very fast as soon as I start paying for 3 of them in a holiday club.
My older 2 don't need a lot of childcare now but our local outdoor pursuits centre takes the vouchers, so now they're a bit old for formal childcare I sometimes send them there, which again uses up the vouchers pretty fast. I think I'll just keep getting them given that you can use them for a surprising range of holiday activities.
Yes, it sounds like that's going to be the best idea.
To be honest, I'm still reeling at the hundreds of pounds a month we're going to save on nursery fees, so now would be a good time to put some of that away to cover summer costs and it might as well be in childcare vouchers.
Our SayCare Pass (formally Sodexho) childcare vouchers expire "after 15-18 months" (not quite sure what that means) so check your providers website to make sure. So I can save for holidays but not too far in advance.