Major opposition parties oppose closing Childcare Vouchers

The following update has been released by the CVPA, bringing more uncertainty to the closure of the Childcare Voucher scheme in October.

Major opposition MPs have signed up to support keeping the Childcare Voucher scheme open to new entrants from 4th October, alongside Tax-Free Childcare (TFC), and have urged government to let MPs debate and vote on the proposed changes before they are implemented.

Specifically, opposition parties have expressed concern that:

  • The government is closing the Childcare Voucher scheme to new entrants from 4th October without having conducted a proper analysis of the winners and losers from removing the scheme and replacing it with TFC, despite the Treasury Committee’s recommendation to do so;
  • If the scheme closes, families will be unable to make an informed choice about the childcare that best suits their family’s needs, based on a comprehensive and flexible package of support; and
  • Many low-income families will be worse off than if they were to carry on using Childcare Vouchers.

Commenting on the Early Day Motion (EDM), Catherine McKinnell MP, said:

“The Government has repeatedly failed to publish any analysis that clearly demonstrates the impact that the closure of Childcare Vouchers will have on families, despite a recommendation from the Treasury Select Committee to do so.

This scheme is relied upon by hundreds of thousands of working parents across the country, and closing it to new entrants risks leaving some worse off from the transition to Tax-Free Childcare – and particularly lower-income households.

It is crucial that steps are taken to protect affordable childcare for those that need it most. Keeping Childcare Vouchers open alongside Tax-Free Childcare, whilst a thorough impact assessment is conducted, would both allow us a better understanding of how families will be affected, and give families the option to choose the scheme that best suits their needs.”

The last-minute decision in March 2018 to delay closing the Childcare Voucher scheme until October alongside this newly tabled EDM demonstrates the government’s mismanagement of its childcare policy and the pressure it now faces to keep the scheme open after 4th October.

Research from the Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) found at least 90 per cent of families will be better off using Childcare Vouchers, Tax Credits, or a combination of the two, than they would be under TFC, placing greater financial burdens on working families.

To ensure parents can make an informed choice about the childcare that best suits their need family’s needs, based on a comprehensive and flexible package of support, the CVPA has launched a campaign to #SaveChildcareVouchers to ensure all families have access to the same financial support towards the cost of childcare.

To support the #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign, contact your MP and ask that they support the EDM to keep Childcare Vouchers open to all parents.