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Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil is urging parents to do their homework on the best way to pay childcare costs as time is running out to sign up to Childcare Voucher Schemes.

Childcare Voucher Schemes offered by some employers are closing to new entrants on October 4th (some have closed already) and after that date only the UK Government’s Tax-free Childcare will be available to assist with childcare costs for new entrants.

The new Tax Free Childcare system is already working well for some, however Mr MacNeil urged parents to be aware that Childcare Voucher schemes could mean much bigger savings for some families.

Mr MacNeil said: “For many families Tax Free Childcare will work, however Childcare Voucher Schemes offer bigger savings for those with childcare costs of less than £9,336 a year and are an option for families where one parent isn’t in work.

“With the deadline for new entries to Childcare Vouchers looming, it is worth checking the UK Government’s online childcare calculator and ask your employer if they offer a Childcare voucher scheme.”

You can find the online calculator here

Childcare voucher schemes allow parents to purchase vouchers to pay for childcare from their salary before tax is deducted. Tax free Childcare is different in that it offers top-up payments instead.

There has been much opposition to the closure of Childcare Vouchers to new entrants and this was postponed in March for an additional 6 months following concerns.

The Treasury Committee of the House of Commons recommended that a full analysis of the winners and losers of removing Childcare Vouchers and replacing with Tax-Free Childcare be carried out, however this was never followed through.