Employers For Childcare says working parents and businesses are being let down as the Government goes ahead with its decision to close the Childcare Voucher Scheme to new entrants tomorrow (4 October 2018). This is despite clear evidence showing that thousands of families will be left worse off as a result.
Over the last 12 months Employers For Childcare has campaigned to keep the scheme open to new entrants providing robust evidence to HM Treasury and MPs that working parents are set to lose out.
Chief Executive Marie Marin said “Working parents are being let down. Hundreds of thousands of people from across the UK have supported the campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers. This includes 120,000 who signed an online petition, MPs supporting a number of Early Day Motions, employers promoting a business pledge, and parents and childcare providers lobbying their MP. By closing the Childcare Voucher Scheme to new entrants, Government is completely disregarding this widespread public support.
“Our charity’s helpline has been inundated with calls from parents who are anxious and angry that they can no longer join the scheme. Others are frustrated because, although they have been using Childcare Vouchers for years, they are changing jobs in the next few weeks and will be excluded from the scheme as they are deemed a new entrant with their new employer. Many of these parents will now be paying £100s more on childcare per year because they cannot access the savings Childcare Vouchers provide.”
Ms Marin added: “Parents, businesses, childcare providers and MPs have supported the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign in their thousands and we want to thank them for doing so. The campaign has put childcare at the top of the political agenda. The research speaks for itself – investment in childcare is an investment in the future. It makes no sense to take away a form of support that we know works on the ground and provides real savings for families.”
Employers For Childcare says it will continue to fight for a better deal for working parents – they have submitted a detailed brief to HM Treasury ahead of this month’s Budget demonstrating both that families will be left worse off as a result of the scheme’s closure to new entrants, and that it is affordable and achievable for Government to keep it open.
Employers For Childcare is urging anyone who is worried about what support they may be entitled to or who wants to make their voice heard ahead of the Budget, to contact its Family Benefits Advice Service on 0800 028 3008. The team can advise parents what support is available and explain just how quick and easy it is to tell their MP about the impact this decision has had on them.