This autumn, the Government is launching a new tax-free childcare scheme that will provide parents with a new way to save on their childcare costs.
Staff at the University of Kent are currently able to save on their childcare costs through the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers, and the Oaks’ Workplace Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme. For staff participating in Busy Bees vouchers and/or the Oaks’ scheme, the new Government initiative will provide another option which they might like to consider. If staff decide to stay in their existing scheme, they can do so.
However the Government has stated that, from autumn 2015, no one will be able to join any childcare voucher scheme other than their new tax-free childcare scheme. This means that staff won’t be able to join the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers scheme after autumn 2015. It also means that those already receiving these vouchers won’t be able to opt out, and then opt back in after the new scheme is launched.
The Oaks’ Workplace Nursery Salary Sacrifice Scheme will not be affected: it will continue, and qualifying staff will still be able to join the scheme.
No couple will be able to be part of both Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers and the new government scheme. Your partner can’t be in a childcare voucher scheme if you are in the government scheme, and you cannot have one child in a childcare voucher scheme and another in the government scheme.
The University wants parents to have the time and opportunity to opt into the scheme that benefits them, and so has put together information which will allow staff to compare the different schemes, and the savings they could make. Which scheme is right for you will depend on your circumstances and what childcare you might need over the coming years. The “Changes to tax-free childcare/ Information for parents” guide, can be found here.
The launch date of the Government’s tax-free childcare scheme is not yet known, but it is recommended that parents act now, if they would like to join the Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers Scheme. Kent staff can join the Busy Bees Childcare Voucher scheme via the Staff Finance website.