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Childcare voucher scheme to close on 4 October

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The government has confirmed 4 October 2018 as the date on which employer-supported childcare (the childcare voucher scheme) will close to new entrants. After 4 October, parents who are already using vouchers can continue to do so for as long as they remain with their employer, and their employer continues to offer the scheme. The scheme was due to close and be replaced by the childcare payments scheme (tax-free childcare) from 6 April.

In a written statement, the chief secretary to the Treasury acknowledged the decision to extend employer-supported childcare by six months was made ‘to reflect concerns about the timing of the closure of childcare vouchers and the transition to tax-free childcare’.

‘Tax-free childcare is a fairer and better targeted system than childcare vouchers’, the minister said, since ‘all families who are eligible can get support regardless of who their employer is, or whether they are self-employed, and support is based on the number of children in a family, rather than the number of parents’. Tax-free childcare was launched in April 2017 and fully opened on 14 February 2018 to all eligible parents with children under 12.

The closure date for the voucher scheme is given effect by the Income Tax (Limited Exemptions for Qualifying Childcare Vouchers and other Childcare) (Relevant Day) Regulations, SI 2018/462.


Issue: 1393
Categories: News