Childcare vouchers can be used for so many types of childcare
Working parents are not aware they can save up to £200 a month on breakfast and after-school club costs with childcare vouchers
- Many parents don't know that Childcare Vouchers cover childcare for school children aged 5 to 16 - not just pre-schoolers
- EYVL calls for increased Government promotion of this out-of-school offering - which can help parents juggle their roles as 'employee' and 'parent'
Early Years Vouchers, one of the UK's leading childcare voucher organisations, says that many working parents are currently not aware of the significant cash savings they can make on Breakfast and After-School Clubs. Working Mums and Dads can save almost £100 per month each on childcare costs for these clubs, which are for five to 16 year olds, but a large number are missing out because of the commonly-held belief that childcare vouchers are just for pre-school infants. Early Years Vouchers has continuously highlighted the lack of knowledge surrounding vouchers and calls on the Government to play a vital role in advertising the benefits of its scheme.
In the current financial climate, many parents - both Mums and Dads - are taking on full-time employment to ensure that they are able to cover their increasing monthly outgoings. Many companies require their employees to work until 5.30pm - which means children can arrive home to an empty house. Breakfast and after-school clubs are a great way to ensure children are being looked after while their parents are heading off to or coming back from work.
Simon Wagner is a Finance Controller at PGS Exploration and a Dad-of-three. He uses the vouchers to send his children to after-school clubs: "I was a bit sceptical at first and thought that the benefits would be minimal, but I've been very surprised at how much you can actually save and the breadth of services that the vouchers can cover is very good. I save around £100 each month, which makes a big difference."
Simon continued: "A lot of people have the misconception that vouchers are only for infants- but this is not the case. My wife and I both work full-time and some days we have to send all our children - age five, eight and ten - to breakfast club or after-school club. The fact that we can use the vouchers to pay towards these is a big advantage and makes a difference to our monthly outgoings. In the space of the last year, I've registered my children at two different after-school clubs and both times all I had to do was call Early Years Vouchers to let them know, they then did the rest for me. The whole process is so straightforward that since signing up to the scheme and registering the clubs I've forgotten all about it because it is fully automated and doesn't require me to do anything else."
Amanda Ward, Director of Early Years Vouchers, said: "There is definitely a lack of knowledge surrounding where parents can make childcare cost savings. Nurseries and childminders are the obvious choice, but parents only really need these up until their children start school - and then it can be difficult to juggle full-time employment and look after young children. After-School activities are a great option for parents because many clubs pick the kids up from surrounding schools and they play together in a safe environment until their parents are able to get home."
Childcare vouchers from Early Years Vouchers can be used to pay for all forms of registered or approved childcare including:
- Day nurseries (private, community or local authority)
- Workplace nurseries
- Pre-school playgroups
- Nursery schools
- After school clubs and holiday clubs
- Breakfast clubs