Parents who don't use vouchers are crazy!
Mum-of-one, Katy Jamieson, is a part-time Solicitor at Lightfoot Solicitors who started using vouchers to pay towards her childcare costs in March of this year.
"My firm advertised the scheme internally with posters, which was what caught my eye. It was never something that I knew much about before then and probably something I never would have intentionally sought out. But after reading about it I spoke to my son's childminder and she said that it was an easy way to save money, it also meant that money was transferred direct to the childminder monthly without me having to organise it through my bank - so I gave Early Years Vouchers a call.
"In all honesty I expected it to be a complete pain - signing up, receiving vouchers every month and sorting out the details with my employer and childminder - but it really wasn't. It took me about five minutes to join and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the whole process was.
"I gave the details to my childminder and she set up an account with Early Years Vouchers in minutes and with no problems. She had had problems with another provider and ended up spending time going through her bank statements to determine who had paid what. But fortunately we've had no such problems with Early Years because of how automated the whole process is. I receive one email a month from Early Years, which makes it easy to keep a tally on how much of my voucher limit I've used up, and my pay slips also tell me how much I've paid each month. The money goes straight into my childminder's account.
"Since March I've saved several hundred pounds on childcare costs. The scheme makes so much financial sense, and no-one loses out. Parents that are able to but who chose not to sign-up are crazy! "The availability of childcare vouchers is now also advertised on the firm's intranet, which is crucial for parents to become aware of what they're entitled to. Fortunately, my company pro-actively advertises the scheme which it doesn't have to. It should be the Government who makes sure that parents are aware that this scheme exists."