UK Includes Stay-at-home Parents In The Childcare Voucher

05 Aug 2013


Immigration News

In March this year, the UK government has released a Childcare voucher that would be available to households where both parents are at work. After the relentless criticism regarding this plan, the government has now decided to extend the tax-free scheme of £1,200 to parents who stay at home because they are caregivers, and to parents on paternity or maternity leave. The government hopes the two concessions, will calm down the critics who claim the new vouchers punish families where one stay-at-home parent. Many of the critics voiced out that the earlier plan was more a collateral to get new mothers to work than providing good childcare options.

According to the Treasury, the criticism is a misunderstanding. As increasing childcare costs are often cited as one of the chief reasons for parents to stop working, the actual aim of the plan is to reduce the costs of childcare so that it becomes financially beneficial for more parents to work. The changes are to be launched as a part of three-month consultation on childcare packages designed to help with the costs of childcare for children aged up to 12. Families with both parents working and earning less than £150,000 each will be eligible and families with children under age five are initially covered.

The scheme is a life-saver for a typical family with two children aged below 12 receiving up to £2,400 a year. The scheme will be phased in from Autumn 2015 and will take a few years to be fully functional, and Ministers are urging the parents for their feedback. The Treasury has prepared a simple online version of the twelve-week consultation. Under this scheme, parents can open an online voucher account with a provider and have their payments scaled by the government. The vouchers can then be redeemed from any Ofsted-registered provider against childcare. With online options like parents being able to pay directly for childcare out of their gross annual wage, getting relief from income tax and national insurance costs, the scheme seems be gaining the favor of the people slowly and steadily. As of now, around 5% of employers have opted into the scheme, covering around 500,000 households.

With ever-increasing cost of living, planning a career and settling in abroad is always a concern. People who are facing the same, can breathe a little easier with this new scheme.


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