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New childcare voucher scheme divides employers

6 September 2013

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Employers are divided over the importance of a new tax-free childcare scheme a survey has shown. 

A survey of 1,600 businesses that offer childcare vouchers to the staff found that only 30% supported the new venture, while 26% believed it was a bad idea and 44% were unsure. 

The Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CPVA) said the government still has work to do if it wants employers to remain part of the scheme. 

The current scheme will be closed to entrants when a new scheme is introduced in 2015. 

However, the vast majority of employers recognised the importance of offering childcare vouchers, with 97% saying it is important to support parents with childcare costs and 94% saying offering childcare vouchers was important for employee retention strategies. 

CVPA board member Julian Foster said: “This research is a significant contribution to the on-going debate around Tax-free Childcare. It highlights not only the importance of employers in administering the current childcare voucher scheme, but demonstrates how and why employers want to continue to be involved in helping working parents with the cost of their childcare.

“The CVPA therefore encourages the government to outline a defined and meaningful role for employers in the delivery of Tax-free Childcare.”

Critics of the new scheme have noted that it will not support older children and may result in staff having to give up work altogether.