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A new campaign has been launched aiming to persuade the government to increase the weekly childcare voucher cap allowance from £55 to £75, which would make childcare costs more affordable.
The Busy Bees Benefits “Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap” campaign’s aim is to get the cap increased in line with the 2013 Budget and at the heart of the campaign is an e-petition which already has over 8,500 signatures.
The cost of childcare has made controversial headlines in the last few weeks with news that the government has established a Childcare Commission and a Daycare Trust and Mumsnet survey highlighting 20 per cent of parents had turned down jobs because they couldn’t afford to pay for childcare.*
Working parents can already join a childcare voucher scheme through their employer and exchange part of their salary for childcare vouchers. The scheme helps thousands of parents but Busy Bees Benefits says it needs to be improved to keep up with childcare costs.
They say working parents are currently able to make savings of up to £933 per year as vouchers are non-taxable and National Insurance exempt. However, the issue the “Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap” campaign wants to address is that the allowance has not changed since 2006.
Raising the cap will increase annual savings by more than £300 per year; both parents in a household can join a scheme, increasing potential savings to more than £2400 per year.
John Woodward, Busy Bees Group chief executive officer said: “As the UK’s largest provider of childcare, serving more than 15,000 children, we understand the pressures on working parents. We want to continue to provide the best quality childcare but also want to help parents as much as possible.
“It is clear that parents want to work and access affordable childcare without having to compromise on quality. Raising the childcare voucher cap will help parents to be able to work and pay for the childcare they would like for their children. Employers will also benefit, by offering childcare vouchers they will be able to save almost £550 per employee, per year.”
* For more information on the Daycare Trust and Mumsnet survey, see the daynurseries.co.uk article: http://www.daynurseries.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/1557331/childcare-costs-causing-parents-to-turn-down-work-and-borrow-money-survey-reveals
For more information about the Busy Bees Benefits campaign visit www.busybeesbenefits.com, the e-petition can be found at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31669