Over 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Childcare Vouchers to be kept open alongside Tax-Free Childcare (TFC), meaning that thi
Over 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Childcare Vouchers to be kept open alongside Tax-Free Childcare (TFC), meaning that this issue must now be considered for a parliamentary debate.
The decision to close Childcare Vouchers to new joiners was made by the Coalition Government in 2012 when TFC was introduced as an alternative system of childcare support.
However, TFC does not appear to be in line with Theresa May’s promise to support ordinary working families, and there has been widespread concern about the policy for a number of reasons:
- The Childcare Voucher scheme is progressive, structured so that those paying the basic rate of tax can claim more than those paying a higher rate. Under TFC, parents have to spend £8,000 of their own income on childcare costs to get the headline £2,000 of support.
- The Department for Education has calculated that the average family could be up to £1,463 worse off each year.
- There are also concerns that TFC has a regressive element with the average family in London set to receive £905 a year while the average family in the north east would only receive £317.
Commenting on the petition, Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) Chair Jacquie Mills said:
“Theresa May made clear that ordinary working families would be the foundation of her domestic policy. We support this, which is why we think its essential Childcare Vouchers remains open alongside Tax-Free Childcare.
“We want parents to have a choice over the vital childcare support that best suits their families, so they can continue to contribute to our economy and society.”
The CVPA surveyed over 350 employers and over 18,000 parents in August. 93% of employers and 98% of parents wanted Childcare Vouchers to be kept open in parallel with TFC.