There is huge discussion at the moment about helping parents with childcare costs. The government are talking about the possibility of keeping schools open until 8pm. Is that the answer though?
Parents want their children to be looked after in a manner of their choosing. As a parent myself, I don’t see that my daughter staying at school for nearly 12 hours a day is the solution to expensive childcare and I know my daughter won’t see it as a suitable solution!
Why not raise the cap on the childcare voucher allowance to give parents more flexibility to make the arrangements that suit their family?
Currently, the tax and national insurance exempt allowance for the childcare vouchers scheme is capped at £55 per week or £243 per month. This allows each basic rate tax paying parent to save up to £933 a year. This childcare vouchers allowance hasn’t changed since April 2006 but the cost of living and cost of childcare since that time have increased dramatically. With the average cost of childcare being around £800 per month and the cost in London being more like £1400 per month, childcare vouchers do make a difference.
There is a petition on Government website asking for the childcare vouchers cap to be raised to £75 per week. This would provide an additional saving for each parent using the scheme of over £300 per year.