Early Years Speak to City Talk Radio
Amanda Ward, Director of Early Years Vouchers Limited spoke to City Talk Radio with regards to childcare vouchers being axed and how it would effect parents.
CITY TALK RADIO - INTERVIEW WEDNESDAY 11TH NOVEMBER with Peter McDowall
Childcare vouchers were introduced by the goverment in 2005 and they make a world of difference to all working parents.
Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for ALL forms of registered childcare for children from birth up to the age of 15 and they give parents the ability to choose the type of childcare that suits their child and their working hours. As a mum I know how important it is to have the right type of childcare so that your child is happy and you can concentrate while you are at work.
The majority of working parents using our vouchers are basic rate tax payers. The average cost of childcare in the UK is around £800 a month. The savings they make with childcare vouchers mean that they can more easily afford to go back to work! Since the goverments announcement I have had so many mothers email me saying that without this benefit, they may just as well stay at home and not work.
Families can save up to £2400 a year. This is £75.33 per month for basic rate tax payers or £99.62 per month for a higher rate tax payer.
Around 340,000 parents will lose this benefit if the government do bin the legislation. The alternative they are proposing, I think, is neither use nor ornament. They plan to offer parents 10 hours of free childcare for 250,000 2 year olds.
1. Firstly, I dont know many parents who only work 10 hours a week and
2. secondly, what if you want to return to work before your child is 2 years olds - what if you have to return to work to pay the mortgage?
3. What if your child is older but still needs looking after from 3pm when school finishes until you get homw from work? Will we all start leaving work at 2.30pm??
Childcare is a fixed cost of returning to work, and this proposal by the government to scrap vouchers will have a hugely negative effect on working mothers - and fathers, families on lower and moderate incomes and those who work in key sectors that the government are trying to support such as the NHS, fire, Police and Ambulance workers. It makes equality at work far harder to achieve and makes the working life of mothers far harder.
Working parents would be penalised.