10/14/2012

Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers


Going back to work after Maternity leave can be a stressful time for both leaving you baby in a new environment for possibly the longest period of time since they were born to the stress of worrying how you are actually going to be able to afford to go back to work when childcare costs are so high.

Even though I have a few months left before I go I have to start back work it's never to early to think about what you are going to do childcare wise.

I had heard about Childcare Vouchers before but never really looked in to them but here Busy Bees Benefits explains all about them.

Increase Your Family Budget

You may have found your family budget becoming strained more and more recently.  The rise in household bills, food, fuel and childcare at a time when your finances are already stretched will ultimately put pressure on your disposable income.

As wages have decreased or at best remained the same, the cost of childcare adds more pressure on working families.  Some families are even considering giving up work to save on childcare costs as they can take up to half of a parent’s salary and fees have continued to rise, with an increase of 6% in the last year alone*. 
 

How can you save money?

There are options for working parents to save money on their childcare costs, increasing their family budget, allowing some of the financial pressure to be taken away.  Busy Bees Benefits offer working parents a Childcare Voucher scheme which could save a family over £1800 per year.  Both working parents can exchange up to £243 per month in Childcare Vouchers which attract tax and National Insurance savings.  These vouchers are then used to pay for any registered childcare for children up to the age of 16.

How do childcare vouchers work?

·         Your employer registers with Busy Bees Benefits, free of charge.

·         You tell your employer how much you would like to be deducted, up to £243 per parent, per month, depending on your individual circumstances.

·         Your employer deducts this amount from your wages, of which no tax or National Insurance is taken, they then calculate your tax and National Insurance from your remaining salary, saving you up to £933 per year.

·         Log in to your dedicated account online to pay your childcare provider with the vouchers and it’s as easy as that!

Is everyone entitled to exchanging wages for childcare vouchers?

Any working parent paying tax via PAYE can exchange some of their salary for childcare vouchers.  Unfortunately, self-employed parents cannot currently use Childcare Vouchers.

Can you only use vouchers to pay for nurseries?

Childcare vouchers can be used to pay registered nurseries, playgroups, cr癡ches, au pairs, out of school clubs, holiday schemes, activity camps and independent school childcare.

What are the benefits of using Busy Bees Benefits?

·         Save money on tax and National Insurance.

·         Busy Bees Benefits is part of the Busy Bees group which has over 200 nurseries nationwide, parents using Busy Bees Benefits Childcare Vouchers in a Busy Bees nursery will automatically receive an extra 5% credit on top of your voucher values.

·         All working parents, scheme administrators and childcare providers will get free access to retail discounts of up to 20% off a wide range of high street and online stores.

·         Busy Bees Benefits offers working parents access to their Emergency Childcare service, the perfect back-up plan should your childcare provider be unavailable.

 
Do you want to save more?

Busy Bees Benefits are currently running a campaign called ‘Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap’ to increase the current Childcare Voucher cap from £55 per week (£243 per month) to £75.  The aim of the campaign is to make childcare more affordable for working parents by helping them to save more money.  Raising the cap to £75 per week will increase the savings parents can make by more than £300, totalling potential savings to over £1200 per parent, per year.

An e-petition has been set up to persuade the government to make the change.  100,000 signatures are required for the issue to be eligible for debate in the House of Commons.  The petition can be found here - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31669.

For more information about Childcare Vouchers visit www.busybeesbenefits.com.  Follow Busy Bees Benefits on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information about the cap campaign and Childcare Vouchers.

* Daycare Trust’s Annual Childcare costs survey 2012

 

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