Childcare Vouchers & Tax-Free Childcare FAQs


Please find below a list of the top frequently asked questions around Childcare Vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare. 


Click on a link below to navigate to the relevant question:

1. Why can’t I join the Childcare Vouchers scheme? 

2. I already receive Childcare Vouchers; do I need to do anything? 

3. Which is the best scheme - Childcare Vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare? 

4. Can I continue to accrue Childcare Vouchers? 

5. Can I stay on the Childcare Vouchers scheme if my partner is claiming Tax-Free Childcare? 

6. Will I lose any Childcare Vouchers I’ve already accrued in my account? 

7. Can I change the value of Childcare Vouchers at a later date if my needs change? 

8. What happens if I change employer? 

9. Can I use Childcare Vouchers in conjunction with the ‘30 free hours for 3-4 year olds’ scheme?

 

1. Why can’t I join the Childcare Vouchers scheme?

Unfortunately, the Government closed the Childcare Vouchers scheme to new entrants on 4th October 2018. This means that if you’re a parent looking to join Childcare Vouchers for the first time that option is no longer available to you. This is because the Government launched a new scheme called Tax-Free Childcare.

If you have missed out on the savings from Childcare Vouchers due to this Government decision, you can still have your voice heard by visiting futureofchildcaresupport.com to share your story.

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2. I already receive Childcare Vouchers; do I need to do anything?

You can continue to receive the vouchers for as long as:

  • You have not previously made a successful application for Tax-Free Childcare
  • You remain with the same employer
  • Your child is still eligible
  • You have had at least one wage adjustment and received vouchers within any 12 month period

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3. Which is the best scheme - Childcare Vouchers or Tax-Free Childcare?

This depends on your family’s individual circumstances. Download our ‘Parent’s Guide to Childcare Vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare’ for further guidance, or visit the government website www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. Please note that information and figures provided are for general guidance only and we are unable to provide advice on individual circumstances.

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4. Can I continue to accrue Childcare Vouchers?

Your family cannot benefit from Childcare Vouchers and Tax-Free Childcare at the same time, but you can remain on the Childcare Vouchers scheme as long as:

  • You have not previously made a successful application for Tax-Free Childcare
  • You remain with the same employer
  • Your child is still eligible
  • You have had at least one wage adjustment and received vouchers within any 12 month period

Edenred Childcare Vouchers do not expire and if you decide to switch to Tax-Free Childcare at a later date, you can still use up any vouchers accrued in your account. However, your employer may have additional conditions on usage if you leave their employment, please check with your HR team.

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5. Can I stay on the Childcare Vouchers scheme if my partner is claiming Tax-Free Childcare?

No. You will not be eligible to stay on the Childcare Vouchers scheme if your partner is on the Tax-Free Childcare scheme.

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6. Will I lose any Childcare Vouchers I’ve already accrued in my account?

Edenred Childcare Vouchers do not expire and if you decide to switch to Tax-Free Childcare at a later date, you can still use up any vouchers accrued in your account. However, your employer may have additional conditions on usage if you leave their employment, please check with your HR team.

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7. Can I change the value of Childcare Vouchers at a later date if my needs change?

As long as you remain eligible for the Childcare Vouchers scheme, you can change how much you want to receive in accordance with your employer’s scheme rules. Please note that you will need to have had at least one wage adjustment and receive vouchers within any 12 month period to remain eligible for the scheme in the long term.

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8. What happens if I change employer?

When you join the Childcare Vouchers scheme, you are entering into an agreement with your current employer. When you move to a new employer, you are technically ‘leaving’ the scheme. As the Childcare Vouchers scheme closed to new entrants on 4th October 2018 you will not be able to ‘rejoin’ your new employer’s scheme.

However, if you are transferring to a new employer via TUPE, your rights are protected and you will still be eligible to remain on the Childcare Vouchers scheme.

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9. Can I use Childcare Vouchers in conjunction with the ‘30 free hours for 3-4 year olds’ scheme?

You are still able to receive Childcare Vouchers in conjunction with 30 free hours, despite what the government website is currently advising. This is an error on their behalf. For clarification and to be able to proceed with your application, call HMRC on 0300 123 4097. Alternatively, if the error message appears, confirm you are not receiving Childcare Vouchers to proceed, then return to your account later to correct that you are receiving them.

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Parents guide to childcare vouchers tax free childcare

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