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Information for parents about childcare vouchers

13 Jun 2013

Find out if using vouchers affects your entitlement to tax credits


To help support staff with children, the University offers childcare vouchers through our partnership with KiddiVouchers. 

Around 800 staff are currently taking advantage of this scheme, which is a government initiative aimed at helping working parents. Since the launch of KiddiVouchers at the University in October 2011, the scheme has saved staff approximately £950,000.

The scheme works through salary exchange (sometimes called salary sacrifice), which means that you can opt to receive childcare vouchers instead of part of your salary. The vouchers are free of tax and National Insurance for parents and employers and you can use them to pay for a variety of childcare including nurseries, playgroups, pre-schools, child minders, before and after school clubs and holiday play schemes. 

In some circumstances, using childcare vouchers may affect your entitlement to tax credits. KiddiVouchers can help you to make an informed decision about whether you are better off with or without childcare vouchers by running a free tax credit calculation for you.

To use the KiddiVouchers calculator:

Alternatively, you can contact HMRC for guidance:

  • Their tax credit helpline on 0345 3003900
  • Their online tax credit calculator is at HMRC tax credits

In general, if you’re receiving £45 per month or less in tax credits then it’s likely to be in your interest to use childcare vouchers. However there are some exceptions to this rule which include:

  • If you’re currently receiving a reduced amount of tax credits as a result of HMRC previously overpaying you, then using childcare vouchers may mean that it takes you longer to repay HMRC
  • If you’re expecting a reduction in your income or your partner’s income this tax year, your tax credits may be recalculated later in the year. Your childcare vouchers may affect this calculation, even if you opt out of the scheme when your income falls

If you’re claiming tax credits then it’s important that HMRC know that you are using childcare vouchers. If you fail to tell them that you are, your tax credit award may be incorrect and you may be required to repay some of your tax credits.

Further information

If you’re not already using childcare vouchers and would like to join the KiddiVouchers scheme, find out all you need to know by visiting: