Are you a Childcare Voucher or Tax Free Childcare scheme fan? Or are you frankly unsure which best suits your needs but you know you should access one of the schemes that help paying for childcare?

Are you employing a Nanny and trying to figure what works for you? These schemes, set up by the government, were created to help you with the cost of childcare as long as you are using ‘approved childcare’. 

But did you know that you have a crucial deadline approaching? If you have not signed up by the end of March 2018 you will be closing the door to accessing Childcare Vouchers, should you decide they suit you best in the future.

Wondering what precisely is Approved Childcare? It refers to a range of registered options such as registered Childminders, a Nanny who must be registered under the Ofsted Voluntary Register scheme, a registered playscheme, a nursery, breakfast or afterschool clubs,

Nannies who wish to be registered under the Ofsted Voluntary Register will need to show they have met the Ofsted Registration requirements to become a home childcarer.

Registering is very straightforward as long as you fulfill the criteria, complete an online application and pay the fee,  currently £105. Nannies will have show they understand the essential skills to work with Children (Riverside Cares offers Common Core Skills training  mapped to these requirements and is offered as a one day course on Saturdays £57.50)   Complete a Paediatric First Aid training course £80, again Riverside Cares offers this course as a combination of one classroom day always offered on weekends plus 6 hours study on line by E-learning which can be accessed from the most convenient spot. Course details here

The Tax Free Childcare scheme can be accessed as long as you fulfill the criteria, whether you are self employed or in employment. The important thing to understand is that what disappears on April 5th is choice. If you don’t sign up in time the Childcare Voucher Scheme it will be closed to new applicants.

The Childcare Voucher Scheme is operated by parents paying into the scheme via a special account and contributing a minimum of £1 a month to make sure the account remains open. The Childcare Vouchers are made up as a portion of your gross salary and are taken as a salary sacrifice. That way you do not pay tax on the voucher only on the rest of your salary

The point is that if you don’t create the account now you will deny yourself the option once the scheme closes to new users. Don’t feel that this will commit you in one direction or the other. You can switch over to the tax free scheme or go down the childcare voucher route. As soon as a child is born you can purchase vouchers and use them before their expiry date.

What’s the difference between the two childcare schemes?

The government has a very useful tax calculator to help you figure out the best scheme for you.  

Do remember you can only choose one or the other you can’t run both childcare schemes at the same time

Childcare Vouchers explained

Here is a very useful link to get you started Ofsted Online Application:

Tax Calculator

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