Childcare vouchers - The scheme that gives you more to play with

Childcare Voucher Savings

Childcare Vouchers are a simple, straightforward way to pay for quality childcare that saves you money. That’s because you don’t pay tax or National Insurance on childcare vouchers up to specified limits – so working parents can save up to £1,000 a year – or double, if both parents sign up for a Childcare Voucher scheme.

Most employers who provide Childcare Vouchers do so through a salary sacrifice scheme. This means you agree to reduce your gross salary by a certain value, and receive Childcare Vouchers to the same value, but pay no tax or National Insurance on those vouchers.  So you save the tax and NI you would have paid on your salary.

The table below shows the savings you could make taking Childcare Vouchers through a salary sacrifice scheme.

  Weekly Monthly Annual

Basic rate taxpayer tax and NI exempt maximum

£55

£243

£2,916

Potential savings  £18 £78 £933

Higher rate taxpayer tax and NI exempt maximum

 £28  £124  £1,484
Potential savings £12 £52 £625

Additional rate taxpayer tax and NI exempt maximum

 £25  £110  £1,325
Potential savings £12 £52 £623

 

To establish what rate of tax you pay and how much tax and NI exemption you are entitled to, your employer will perform a ‘basic earnings assessment’.

To join the scheme please speak with your employer.

Who is eligible?

Both male and female employees can participate in the scheme.

Childcare Vouchers can only be used for your child until 1st September following their 15th birthday (or 16th birthday if they are registered disabled).

You must have parental responsibility for the child - the child must be your child, your stepchild or a child for whom you have parental responsibility. The childcare must be 'registered' or 'approved'

If the vouchers are offered through a salary sacrifice arrangement, the reduction in salary should not bring you below minimum wage.

 

 

 

Flexible to suit
your needs

Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay for a wide range of childcare including:

  • Home based care such as childminders, nannies and au pairs.
  • Pre-school care such as nursery schools, play schools and crèches.
  • Care for older children such as out of school clubs (breakfast clubs,
    afterschool clubs) and holiday clubs.

Your Childcare Vouchers can be used to pay more than one childcare provider if you wish. The only condition is that they will need to be registered with or approved by an appropriate body (such as Ofsted) and be affiliated to the Edenred network.

Getting started

Most employers who provide Childcare Vouchers do so through a salary sacrifice scheme. This means you agree to reduce your salary by a certain value, and receive Childcare Vouchers to the same value, but pay no tax or National Insurance on those vouchers.

To join your employer’s Childcare Vouchers scheme, you first of all need to complete a salary sacrifice agreement. Your employer will give you directions on how to do this.

After your agreement has been submitted to your employer, they will reduce your salary by the requested amount, and arrange for vouchers to be provided to you.

Childcare Vouchers are usually provided electronically, via an online account. Shortly before the pay day on which you are due to receive your first vouchers, your employer will advise Edenred of the value of vouchers to be provided, and we will send to you, by post, a welcome letter which gives you details of how to access your online account. 

On the date selected by your employer, which is usually on or around your pay day, your account will be credited with your chosen value of Childcare Vouchers. Vouchers are not tied to a particular carer, and do not have to be used straight away, so you have the flexibility to manage your account as you so wish, and can accrue a balance of vouchers to be used in the future if required.

Any value of vouchers, up to your account balance, can be transferred to a childcare provider at any time, so if you pay different amounts or different childcare providers this can be accommodated with ease.

Childcare Vouchers Illustration

Paying your carer

You can transfer vouchers from your online account (see ‘How to Join’) to any childcare provider who is affiliated with Edenred. Contact your childcare provider to establish if they have accepted Edenred vouchers before. If they have, then ask them for their Edenred account number, which will begin with the letter ‘P’.

If your childcare provider has not accepted our vouchers before, they can affiliate online here. Any registered (Ofsted, Care Inspectorate, CSSIW etc) childcare provider can affiliate with Edenred.

When they apply, they will need to provide a copy of their registration certificate to us so that we can validate their application. Once a childcare provider’s application has been validated, we will issue them an account number, which begins with the letter ‘P’, which they should communicate to you.

There are two ways to transfer vouchers to a childcare provider from your online account– individual payment, or standing order. Setting up a standing order allows you to automatically transfer vouchers to your childcare provider for the same amount each week or month. An individual payment allows you to transfer a one-off amount at any given time.

When arranging payments – either manually or by standing order – all you need is your childcare provider’s Edenred account number, beginning with the letter ‘P’. Each time a transfer is made Edenred will issue a payment to your childcare provider using the payment details they provided when they affiliated.

If your childcare provider has opted to be paid by bank transfer, it will usually take 3 – 4 days from the point a transfer is made for the amount to credit their bank account. 

Your online Childcare Voucher account

Childcare Vouchers are usually provided electronically, via an online account. Shortly before the pay day on which you are due to receive your first vouchers, your employer will advise Edenred of the value of vouchers to be provided, and we will send to you a 'parent welcome' which gives you details of how to access your online account.  

On the date selected by your employer (usually on or around your pay day), your account will be credited with your chosen value of Childcare Vouchers. Vouchers are not tied to a particular carer, and do not have to be used straight away, so you have the flexibility to manage your account as you so wish, and can accrue a balance of vouchers to be used in the future if required. 

Any value of vouchers, up to your account balance, can be transferred to a childcare provider at any time, so if you pay different amounts or different childcare providers this can be accommodated with ease. 

Account Login

When logging in, you will need to enter your Edenred Childcare Voucher Membership Number, along with the information you will be prompted to provide.