Research by the Social Market Foundation shows that, as a result of growing childcare costs and reduced Government support, working parents are set to pay more from their own pockets to cover their childcare costs.
Fiona Shields, Chair of the CVPA, believes that the research comes at a crucial time: “The high cost of childcare and reduction of government support has left many parents, especially mothers, struggling to remain in work. The SMF’s report, The Parent Trap, demonstrates for the first time the different forms of childcare support provided to working families and analyses the projected costs of childcare.” The SMF’s research has found that to return to the public support levels offered in 2006, the high point for childcare support, the value of childcare vouchers would need to raise to £83 per week for basic rate tax payers. This is up from the current £55 per week, which has remained unchanged since 2006.
Fiona Shields explains that: “childcare vouchers help parents to manage their childcare costs, allowing them to remain in work. The CVPA is driving forward best practice in the childcare voucher sector, and our members’ secure payment mechanisms provide parents with the guarantee that their child’s nursery or childminder will be paid efficiently and on time”. With inflationary household bills and salary stagnation coinciding with some families facing restrictions to the availability of child benefits and child tax credits, parents are finding it ever more difficult to pay for childcare. Childcare vouchers provide working parents with an effective means of managing their childcare costs. The Government has committed to making the UK the most family friendly country in Europe. To achieve this aim, affordable childcare must play a central role. The CVPA believe that childcare vouchers are a proven and successful way to help employers with recruitment and retention, but also to provide families with support.