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What are childcare vouchers?

Childcare vouchers are an employee benefit for all eligible working parents
They're a Government-approved, tax-efficient way of paying for childcare. If you join the scheme, you can exchange up to £243 a month (£55 a week) of your gross salary for childcare vouchers.
The part of your gross salary you exchange for childcare vouchers is tax-free and exempt from National Insurance contributions (NI). Because of this, you can make savings of up to £933* a parent, a year.
It doesn't cost you anything to sign up for childcare vouchers and the scheme applies whatever rate of tax you pay. What's more, both parents can request childcare vouchers, which means your family could save up to  £1,866** a year!
You can use vouchers to pay for a wide variety of childcare for children up to the age of 16^!

All registered childcare providers can accept childcare vouchers as a method of payment, including:
  • Nurseries
  • Nannies
  • Au pairs
  • Creches
  • Childminders
  • Out of school clubs
  • Extra-curricular activities (such as music lessons)
  • Breakfast and after-school clubs
  • Holiday clubs or schemes
  • Activity holiday companies 
  • Qualifying childcare offered by schools
For parents joining a scheme after 6 April 2011, the Government has capped the amount of childcare vouchers a taxpayer can request each month to £243 for a Basic rate tax-payer, £124 for a Higher rate taxpayer and £110 for an Additional rate taxpayer. Parents who joined their employer's childcare voucher scheme before 6 April 2011 can continue to request up to £243 a month (£55 a week) in childcare vouchers, regardless of their tax status, providing they remain in their employer's scheme (i.e. they have received a childcare voucher in the last rolling 12 month period).
*Figures quoted are the maximum available savings for a Basic rate taxpayer. Higher and Additional rate taxpayers may save up to £623 a year. The savings you make will depend on your circumstances.

**Figures quoted relate to the maximum family savings, if both working parents are Basic rate taxpayers and use childcare vouchers. If both working parents are Higher or Additional rate taxpayers they may save up to £1,246 a year. The savings you make will depend on your circumstances.
^1 September following 15th birthday or 1 September following 16th birthday for children who are registered disabled.