Great news, the planned closure of childcare vouchers to new members from April 2018 has today been delayed by six months, so employees can register for childcare vouchers up until October 2018.

FAQs


Parent

Childcare vouchers are a Government initiative to help working parents. The most common method of offering childcare vouchers is through your salary; parents elect to take part of their existing salary as childcare vouchers. Your employer then orders your vouchers and you receive them electronically on the day specified, usually your payday. You then use these e-vouchers to pay your childcare provider directly online.

In order to make the savings you must sign a salary sacrifice contract with your employer to vary the terms of your employment, this is in order to receive part of your pay in childcare vouchers. The earnings you exchange for childcare vouchers are gross, so there is no tax or NI to pay.

Salary sacrifice is when you give up the right to part of your pay in return for a non-cash benefit e.g. childcare vouchers. The contract to receive tax and NI free childcare vouchers usually lasts for at least a year. Once the contract has expired or you withdraw from the scheme, you will revert to your original salary.

Childcare vouchers are free from tax and NI contributions for the value of vouchers you order. The amount you can salary sacrifice depends on your earnings threshold:

Amount You Can Take
Total Earnings*/ Rate Weekly Monthly Annually
Up to but not exceeding £46,350 (basic) £55 £243 £2,916
Greater than £46,351 but less than £150,000 (higher) £28 £124 £1,488
Over £150,000 (Additional) £25 £110 £1,320

*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and a standard personal allowance. Please speak to your HR department if you are unsure of the value of tax and NI exempt childcare vouchers you are entitled to take.

For all new joiners since April 2011 an annual earnings assessment carried out by your employer will categorise you into a basic, higher or additional rate tax payer, which will then decide your maximum voucher amount.

Employee Savings
Employee Savings
Earnings/Rate Amount (per year)
Up to but not exceeding £46,350- (Basic) £933
Greater than £46,351 but less than £150,000 (Higher) £623
Over £150,000 (Additional) £623

*These savings are subject to changes by HMRC

Your employer will register with us to provide childcare vouchers. You will then be able to set up your personal account. When your employer orders vouchers for you, they will be credited to your account and you can then use this to pay your children’s childcare provider directly.

You will automatically stop receiving childcare vouchers, but you may still use any stored vouchers before they expire.

Working parents / guardians, both men and women, provided that income does not fall below the national minimum wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW) by receiving childcare vouchers.

Yes, the amount of vouchers that a parent can take is limited to the amounts illustrated below, irrespective of how many children you have. So you could maximise your savings by ensuring that you both take part in a childcare voucher scheme. If your partner’s employer is not currently running a scheme, call us on Freephone 0800 328 7411 and ask for more information.

No it is a scheme rule, that the child must be born before you can register for childcare vouchers.

You can pay for as many children and childcare providers as you wish with your vouchers, but the amount of vouchers that can be taken is limited to the specified amounts. If both parents claim vouchers, the benefit is doubled

A parent / guardian is someone who maintains a child or stepchild (wholly, or partly) at their expense or who has parental responsibility for a child who resides with them. Grandparents, unless legal guardians, are not eligible to receive childcare vouchers.

A person is considered a child until the 1st September following his / her 15th birthday, or 16th birthday if he / she is disabled.

You may pay for any registered childcare with childcare vouchers. Check that your childcare provider is registered with the relevant body.

Registered childcare includes:
  • Nannies
  • Childminders
  • Nurseries
  • Pre-schools
  • Day care
  • Before and after school care
  • Holiday schemes
  • Sitter services (Scotland)
  • Activity based care e.g. sports and drama coaching
Registration bodies include:
  • Ofsted (England)
  • Care Inspectorate (Scotland)
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales)
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)

Parents, step parents and guardians may not receive childcare vouchers as payment for childcare. No other relative of the child may be paid with childcare vouchers unless they run a registered childcare business, such as a nursery, and the care is not provided in the child’s home.

Yes, childcare vouchers can be used to pay for Reception year fees in private schools prior to a child reaching the compulsory school age of 5. A child is of ‘compulsory school age’ the school term after a child’s 5th birthday e.g. if a child has their birthday in February, childcare vouchers can be used to pay for childcare until the end of the Spring term. They can also be used to pay for before and after school care for older children at a private school and also for the boarding element of boarding school fees, providing that these elements are invoiced separately

Yes. You may use childcare vouchers if your Local Authority does not cover all of your childcare costs.

You can pay as many childcare providers as you wish providing they are registered with Sodexo Motivation Solutions. If you wish to add a childcare provider to your account, simply go online and add them using our comprehensive system. Should one childcare provider charge more than £243 then you may find it easier to use all your vouchers / voucher credit for that one provider....

Vouchers are usually received monthly and dates vary depending on your chosen delivery method.

Should your childcare costs exceed your childcare vouchers you may either pay the balance directly to your child carer or use our flexible top up feature, which enables you to top up your voucher balance with your own money. This not only allows you and your child carer to keep track of your payments more easily but your child carer will receive just one payment from you rather than two. To ensure both receipts into your voucher account are correct, from you and your employer, and any refunds made to you are accounted for, we will track both receipts separately to avoid any miscalculations.

Voucher top-ups allow you to top-up your voucher account balance with your own money using your debit card. This means that when your childcare costs exceed the value of your vouchers you can make a single payment (per month) to your child carer directly from your account.

Register all your childcare providers with Sodexo and work out how much you need for each provider throughout the year, add it up and divide by 12 to give a monthly amount. You may find an online account the easiest way to store and save credit

HMRC guidance suggests that you can leave the scheme at any time. However, we ask that you stay for a minimum of one month to avoid unnecessary administration. It is also worth bearing in mind that your employer may not allow you to re-join the scheme for a specified period of time.

Vouchers last for up to 30 months, so you can save them up for times when you may need extra childcare throughout the year. All vouchers expire on their expiry date. Once they have expired they will still display on your account but you will need to validate who you are, your child’s details and who you are paying and they will then be simply re-issued.

Refunds are not possible under salary sacrifice contracts. Once your pay has been exchanged for a childcare voucher under contract it is generally not possible to reverse it back through the payroll.

In circumstances where a refund is allowed, the refund would be returned to your employer and paid to you through payroll and would be subject to tax and national insurance in the normal way.

Tax Free Childcare is a government scheme for working parents with children under 12 (or 17 if disabled). The government will top up your online account with an extra £2 for every £8 you pay in. You can receive up to £2,000 per child based on a maximum childcare cost of £10,000 or up to £4,000 per disabled child based on a cost of £20,000 per year.

For more information, go here.

From 5th October 2018, the childcare voucher scheme is closed to new joiners.

You can-rejoin the scheme if you were previously in the childcare voucher scheme in the following scenarios:

  1. If you are currently in the childcare voucher scheme you can temporarily stop your payroll deductions. You have a 12-month window to re-join the scheme provided you have not joined TFC in the meantime.
  2. If you have been in the childcare voucher scheme within the last 12 months, but are currently not receiving vouchers, you have until 11 months after your payroll deductions stopped to re-join, provided you did not join TFC in the meantime.

Yes, after 4th October 2018, when the childcare voucher scheme is closed to new entrants, you can vary your voucher amount in the same way you have always been allowed to.

No, childcare vouchers are per parent whereas TFC is per child, therefore both parents need to be in the same scheme.

If you change employer after 4th October 2018 you will be classed as a leaver to the childcare voucher scheme and will not be allowed to join your new employer's scheme.

You can use up your childcare voucher balance, irrespective if you have joined TFC.

Yes you can. The Childcare Choices website has had some issues and has wrongly been stating that a parent cannot claim both during the quarterly eligibility confirmation process on the Childcare choices website. If you experience this, please contact HMRC.

You can request to leave the scheme via the 'My Voucher' Tab in your online account. You can re-join the voucher scheme provided you do so within 12 months and provided you have not joined the Tax Free Childcare scheme in that period.

Yes. We comply with all relevant data protection legislation and are committed to only using your personal data for the purposes of providing our childcare voucher services. We will never pass your information on to third parties.

If you would like further advice or information, please get in touch with the team.
Email: customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com
Phone: 0800 328 7411*
Address: Sodexo Motivation Solutions, Unit 5 Albany Court, Albany Park
Frimley Road, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7QR
*Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

Your vouchers may or may not appear on your payslip. Often your salary is shown with the voucher cost deducted and the voucher value is shown separately. The reduced tax and National Insurance contributions are then shown on the opposite side of the payslip.

The impact on the state pension scheme is likely to be negligible. Most other pension providers are happy to accept childcare vouchers as notional pay. Ask your employer for confirmation of whether your pension contributions are affected. If you are contributing to a personal pension, you are unlikely to be affected by taking childcare vouchers, but we recommend that you seek advisement on this.

You have 3 options in relation to your childcare vouchers whilst on maternity leave:

Option 1 - You can withdraw from the childcare voucher scheme. If you do so prior to the period in which SMP is calculated (the 'qualifying period'), your SMP calculations will be based on your higher salary (not including your salary sacrifice deductions). This period begins at approximately week 17 of your pregnancy.

Option 2- You can opt out of the childcare voucher scheme during the qualifying period, so your SMP calculations are based on your higher salary, and then re-join the scheme afterwards. The qualifying period lasts for 8 weeks and is approximately between weeks 17 and 25 of pregnancy. If you will be receiving contractual or occupational maternity pay, you may continue to salary sacrifice until your pay reverts to SMP/SAP. Please note that childcare vouchers cannot be deducted from SMP/SAP so, at this point, you may be required to take a break from receiving childcare vouchers until you return to work. (As long as you resume your childcare voucher claim within 12 months, it will not be considered a new claim).

Option 3- You can remain in the childcare voucher scheme during the qualifying period, and your maternity leave until you are no longer receiving contractual or occupational maternity pay. Your SMP will then be calculated at the lower rate (after your salary sacrifice deductions).

Statutory Paternity Pay is not affected. Before making your decision, you should seek advice from any relevant agencies in relation to Tax Credit Implications or ongoing childcare costs.

Please consult your HR department for further guidance.

Taking childcare vouchers may have an effect on Tax Credits. Because every family’s situation is different, we can’t comment on your individual circumstances, but HM Revenue & Customs have a Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 which may help you decide what is best for your family. They also have an online tool to help you decide whether you’ll be better off with childcare vouchers. www.gov.uk/childcare-vouchers-better-off-calculator for HMRC’s ‘Childcare vouchers and tax credits better off calculator’.

Most employers are happy to accept childcare vouchers as pay when calculating overtime, so your payments should not be affected by taking childcare vouchers. Check with your employer.

Sodexo is a proud member of the CVPA (Childcare Voucher Providers Association). The industry association was established to protect all stakeholders’ (employers, parents and childcare providers) interests by ensuring best practice by its members through security of voucher funds, integrity of data management and service levels.

Your employer has to put the childcare voucher service in place before you can join it. If your employer doesn’t have a scheme in place, why not let them know about the childcare voucher service from Sodexo? Once your employer has joined the service, they will invite you to join and our online tools will guide you through the process:

  • Step 1. You create an individual account
  • Step 2. You add the details of your childcare provider(s) to your account
  • Step 3. Your employer orders vouchers for you
  • Step 4. The vouchers show up as credit in your individual account
  • Step 5. You can pay your childcare provider(s) directly from your online account.

Once you have registered with us, you will be sent a confirmation email. You can access your e-voucher account at any time using your username and password.

The scheme is usually open for applications all year round, however, your employer will decide on the joining dates; please check with them for more information. Once your application has been approved, your employer will order your vouchers for you on the next available payroll period. The vouchers will then show as a credit in your childcare account for you to spend with your childcare provider.

Your childcare provider has to demonstrate they are registered if you want to pay them using childcare vouchers. If your childcare provider is regulated by a national body such as Ofsted they should have a registration number and a certificate.

E-vouchers work in a similar way to online banking. You are given a personal e-voucher account that you access to arrange payment directly into your childcare provider’s bank account. You can easily monitor your payments and make them when it suits you or set up a regular payment for a set amount, which goes directly into your childcare provider’s bank account on a set day every month.

If you temporarily lose access to the internet, you can manage your account by calling our friendly customer care team on 0800 328 7411.

In the first instance, please contact our Customer Carer team to assist, as follows:

Email: customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com
Phone: 0800 328 7411

Complaints will be handled initially within 3 business days of receipts.

If the complaint is not resolved within the timeframe, it will be escalated to the team leader, who will in turn escalate to the Compliance Manger if they are unable to resolve it.

Upon resolving a CCV Complaint a final resolution letter/e-mail will be sent to the complainant, explaining how the complaint has been resolved.

If a CCV complaint is not upheld or a complainant challenges the final response, the existence of the CVPA will be made clear, and that complaints can be made to the CVPA if a complainant believes that Sodexo has failed to comply with the CVPA Code of Practice. In such a situation, full details of the CVPA must be provided.


Employer

Childcare vouchers are a Government initiative to help working parents. The most common method of offering childcare vouchers is through your salary; parents elect to take part of their existing salary as childcare vouchers. Your employer then orders your vouchers and you receive them electronically 3 to 5 working days after your payday. You then use these e-vouchers to pay your childcare provider directly online.

The management fee charged by Sodexo for the administration and processing of vouchers is a percentage fee, based on the face value of the vouchers ordered.

Sodexo will keep you updated on all developments via the Sodexo childcare voucher portal and regular e-communications.

Salary Sacrifice involves the employee agreeing to formally give up some of their existing taxable salary, in return for a non-cash benefit. Your employees must sign a salary sacrifice contract to vary the terms of their employment. The earnings they exchange for childcare vouchers are gross, so there is no tax or NI to pay.

The amounts that your employees can take in childcare vouchers without paying tax and NI depends on their earnings. You will need to complete a Basic Earnings Assessment for each new joiner to the scheme. The Basic Earnings Assessment calculates the employee’s tax band which dictates the maximum entitlement to childcare vouchers.

This requirement came into force in April 2011 and doesn’t apply to any employee that was already in the scheme at that date. Each April all new joiners since April 2011 need to be re-assessed.

Please see below the eligibility brackets for 2018/19

Amount You Can Take
Total Earnings*/ Rate Weekly Monthly Annually
Up to but not exceeding £46,350 (basic) £55 £243 £2,916
Greater than £46,351 but less than £150,000 (higher) £28 £124 £1,488
Over £150,000 (Additional) £25 £110 £1,320

*Total earnings include salary, other taxable benefits and allowance.

Since April 2011 employers have a responsibility to complete a Basic Earnings Assessment (BEA) for new joiners to the Childcare Voucher scheme and to re-assess annually each April all those who have joined the scheme since April 2011.

The Basic Earnings Assessment determines an employee’s relevant earnings for the tax year and will compare these earnings to the income tax bands to set the level of childcare voucher amount that the employee is entitled to.

Maximum Childcare Voucher Values 2018/19 :

Amount You Can Take
Tax Band Maximum Per Week Maximum Per Month Maximum Per Year
Basic Rate (up to £46,350) £55 £243 £2,916
Higher Rate (£46,351 to £150,000) £28 £124 £1,488
Additional Rate (over £150,000) £25 £110 £1,320

If an employee has a pay rise during the tax year, a new BEA is not required.

Employees who joined the childcare voucher scheme prior to April 2011 are not affected by these rules and no Basic Earnings Assessment is required. Prior to April 2011 there was no restriction for higher and additional rate taxpayer, so the maximum voucher value for all irrespective of tax band, continues to be £2,916 per year.

There may be an effect on Tax Credits. Sodexo cannot comment on individual circumstances and it is the individual’s decision as to whether they wish to take childcare vouchers.

It is advisable for employees to contact the Tax Credits helpline on 0345 300 3900 prior to applying for childcare vouchers, to establish individual circumstances. Alternatively, HM Revenue & Customs have an online tool to help parents decide whether they will be better off with childcare vouchers. Please visit the HMRC's Childcare Indicator for more information.

Whether you would like further advice or information or would like to share your feedback on the scheme, please get in touch with the team.

Email: customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com

Phone: 0800 328 7411*

Address:
Sodexo Benefits and Rewards
Unit 5 Albany Court
Albany Park
Frimley Road
Camberley
Surrey
GU16 7QR

*Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

The vouchers do not need to appear on an employee’s payslip at all, however, most employees do prefer to see their total salary package.

If the vouchers are shown, the original (pre-sacrifice) figure should be referred to, with the voucher amount shown as a ‘negative allowance’.

The help button on the childcare voucher portal site has a section where you can find information on supporting and growing your scheme.

The FAQs and user guide section provides information for your employees. These documents address most employee questions and concerns. In addition to this, employees can also contact the Customer Care team at customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com or by telephone on 0800 328 7411.

If an employee takes childcare vouchers when her Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) is being calculated (approx. weeks 17-24 of pregnancy), then her SMP/SAP may be affected. For this reason they may wish to suspend scheme membership during the qualifying period and then re-join the scheme afterwards.

On the parent portal, there is a calculator to assist parents in finding out whether they are better off staying in the childcare voucher scheme during weeks 17 – 24 or not.

If an employee is taking childcare vouchers when they go on maternity or adoption leave and they will be receiving contractual maternity or adoption pay, then their salary sacrifice can continue as usual until the employee reverts to SMP/SAP. Childcare vouchers cannot be deducted from SMP/SAP. At this point the employee may take a break from receiving childcare vouchers until she returns to work. As long as the employee resumes her childcare voucher claim within 12 months, it will not be considered a new claim.

Statutory Paternity Pay is not affected.

By offering childcare vouchers through a salary sacrifice scheme, you save on Employer NI of 13.8%. The amount you save will depend on your employees’ pension status, but you could save up to £402 per employee per year.

As well as the financial savings, employers should also be aware of the potential savings to be made in terms of staff recruitment and retention.

Our service offers you the opportunity to enhance your employees’ benefits with minimal fuss, thanks to an easy to use online system. Our expert team are always on hand to offer support and advice to make the scheme a success. We ensure our childcare voucher scheme adheres to all HM Revenue & Customs guidelines.

Our childcare voucher scheme can be set up quickly and easily online, usually within 3-4 working days. Once your organisation and employees are registered with Sodexo, you can place your first voucher order. We need to receive your order at least five working days before the required delivery date.

HMRC allows employees to receive vouchers before their childcare provider is registered with Sodexo. However, childcare providers must be registered before we can allow parents to make payments to them.

Most work benefits are calculated on gross salary, so overtime or other benefits should not be affected.

Employees can only pay registered childcare, up to the age of 15 with their vouchers. This may include breakfast clubs, after school clubs, nurseries, childminders, after school activities, holiday camps and certain elements of independent school fees.

The registration bodies are:

  • Ofsted (England)
  • Care Inspectorate (Scotland)
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales)
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)

It is your decision as an employer whether an employee can be reimbursed for unused vouchers.

If you agree to this, you should email the Customer Care team at customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com and ask for a copy of the credit request form to be sent to you for completion.

The returned vouchers should be put back through payroll, so that the required tax and national insurance are deducted.

You can make payments either by Direct Debit or BACS transfer. Weekly and fortnightly orders must be paid by Direct Debit to tie in with payment schedules of vouchers.

As Direct Debits can take up to 10 working days to set up, you may have to pay for your first order using an alternative method of payment. Your invoice will state whether payment of your invoice will be collected by Direct Debit.

HM Revenue & Customs need to be satisfied that the scheme you are running complies with the rules of salary sacrifice. You must keep records to demonstrate the following:

  • That the scheme is available to all employees - keep a record of the material used to promote the scheme to enable you to do this
  • That the child qualifies for the scheme - keep a record of the child’s date of birth and a note of the relationship between the employee and child. Our standard Salary Sacrifice Agreement fulfils this function. These can be downloaded from the Employee Contracts section of your administration portal
  • The childcare is registered - keep a copy of your scheme rules that includes a requirement for employees to notify you of any change in circumstances in relation to the child or childcare. You should also make a record of the carer’s name and registration or approval number.

Our systems hold this information on your behalf.

There is no minimum number of employees required to set up a childcare voucher scheme. Even having one employee on the scheme will create savings.

The government doesn’t allow self-employed parents to take part in employer-supported childcare voucher schemes. This is because they do not pay tax under PAYE, so are not entitled to the savings on tax and NI contributions of childcare vouchers.

Childcare vouchers are valid for 30 months after the date of issue. Therefore, employees can save them up to use at times when they may need extra childcare throughout the year, allowing vouchers to be used for holiday clubs and summer camps.

All vouchers expire on their expiry date. It is a straightforward process, however, for the employees’ vouchers to be re-issued by the employees contacting the Customer Care team.

By taking childcare vouchers, employees save the tax and NI Contributions on the amount of vouchers they take. The amount an employee saves depends on the rate of tax and NI they pay and the amount of vouchers they take.

You must ensure that employees’ net pay (salary after vouchers) does not go below the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL). This is to ensure the minimum amount of NI is paid and that employees’ state benefits, such as Statutory Sick Pay, are not affected. Employees must also remain above National Minimum Wage / National Living Wage after salary sacrifice.

E-vouchers work in a similar way to online banking. Parents are assigned a personal e-voucher account through which they arrange payments directly into their carer’s bank account. Parents can easily monitor the payments they’ve made.

Orders are made using your online portal. They are usually organised to coincide with your business’ pay periods – for example, weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or by calendar month. Orders must be placed for each pay period. If Sodexo does not receive an order, vouchers will not be credited to parents.

Employers select the employees that they wish to include on the order and the delivery date (the date employees are to receive the vouchers) to submit the order.

Orders must be sent a minimum of five working days before the date they are required to be credited into employees’ accounts.

For small employees with only a few people on the scheme, they are able to select auto-ordering in the set up section, which means that their voucher order is automatically raised and an invoice sent to the employer for payment.

There are lots of reasons to consider childcare vouchers:

  • Employer NI savings of up to £402 per employee per year
  • Brings genuine financial benefit to employees – saving up to £933 per year, per employee
  • Helps employees budget for childcare
  • An excellent way to recruit and retain staff
  • Simple to implement
  • A flexible service that suits your organisational needs

Electronic invoices are issued within 24 hours of processing your order. We require payment before vouchers will be credited. Payment terms for the management fee plus VAT are due the later of either 14 days from the invoice issue date or from the voucher credit date.

Orders must still be placed at least five working days before payday and an order must be received for each pay period. If you are ordering childcare vouchers for weekly and fortnightly paid staff, you must pay by Direct Debit to ensure payments are released into your employees’ accounts on time.

To receive and use childcare vouchers, the employee must either be the parent or have parental responsibility for a child. Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for care of a child up to 1st September following the child’s 15th birthday or 1st September following their 16th birthday if the child is disabled.

Childcare vouchers must be used to pay for registered or approved childcare. See HM Revenue & Customs website for more details on the rules regulating the scheme.

Yes, vouchers can be cancelled before being spent. A credit note will be issued for the face value of the unspent vouchers.

You will receive an automatic email once processing is under way. You will be able to see online that your order has been submitted.

HMRC guidance suggests that employees can leave the scheme at any time. However, we ask that employees stay for a minimum of one month to avoid unnecessary administration.

According to the rules surrounding Tax Free Childcare, if an employee leaves the childcare voucher scheme then they have to re-join within 52 weeks of leaving the scheme. If an employee leaves your employment then they cannot join another employer’s childcare voucher scheme.

This depends on your pension scheme. Most pension providers are happy to accept vouchers as notional pay. Sodexo recommends that you check with your pension provider prior to putting a scheme in place.

You cannot place a standing order as, like payroll, every order for childcare vouchers is treated separately. If we do not receive an order for a pay period, vouchers cannot be credited.

E-vouchers are fully secure. Employees use their user name and password to log in. Security information is also provided which is requested if an employee calls the customer care team.

HMRC does allow working parents to backdate vouchers under certain circumstances within a tax year, but this is at your discretion.

The childcare voucher tax and NI ‘exempt amount’ is an annual allowance and therefore, as long as the employee earns the annual voucher allowance PLUS National Minimum Wage/ National Living Wage within that tax year, it is possible for them to backdate vouchers up to the full childcare voucher allowance for that year. However, you must be satisfied that they met all of the necessary conditions for scheme membership in each week or month that they wish to receive backdated vouchers for, (for example, their child must have been born/ they must have been in your employment/ you must have had a scheme in place).

From 5th October 2018, the childcare voucher scheme will be closed to new joiners. The only childcare support available to parents is Tax Free Childcare (TFC), a government scheme (for information go here).

Key facts - membership

  1. For new members, September 2018 payroll, is the last chance to join the childcare voucher scheme.
  2. Employees currently in the childcare voucher scheme can temporarily cease their deduction. They have a 12-month window to re-join the scheme provided they did not join TFC in the meantime.
  3. Employee who have been in the scheme within the last 12 months, but are currently not receiving vouchers, will have until 11 months after their deductions stopped to re-join, provided they did not join TFC in the meantime.

Key facts - general

  1. Post-September 2018, an existing childcare voucher member will be able to vary their voucher amount in the same way they have always been allowed to.
  2. Childcare vouchers are per parent whereas TFC is per child, therefore both parents need to be in the same scheme.
  3. Organisations can continue to switch voucher providers if they require.
  4. If an employee changes employer after September 2018 they will classed as a leaver to the childcare voucher scheme and will not be allowed to join their new employer’s scheme.
  5. Employees can use up the balance of any monies remaining in their childcare voucher account, irrespective if they have joined TFC.
  6. TUPE
    • Where a change of employer is triggered by a business merger or acquisition, employees can remain in the voucher scheme post September 2018.
    • This also applies where there is a transfer of staff under a COSOP (in the public sector) or TUPE arrangements.

To change any administration contact details please email sales.engage.uk@sodexo.com, where the team will be able to amend this on your behalf.


Provider

Childcare vouchers are a Government initiative to help working parents pay for childcare. Vouchers are deducted from parents’ salaries and both employers and parents save money, as the value of the vouchers is not liable for tax or NI contributions.

No, we ensure there is no cost to you in accepting vouchers. Payment is made at the parent’s instruction, directly into your chosen bank account.

As more employers put childcare voucher schemes in place, more and more parents will want to pay for their childcare using this method. Childcare vouchers enable you to receive fast, guaranteed payment for the services you provide. We want to make vouchers easy for you to use and we are always here to help.

To accept childcare vouchers, you will need to be a registered childcare provider. To join the service, you’ll need to sign up for an account by visiting this link and completing the online form provided.

Once your details have been validated, you will be sent a welcome email containing your Childcare provider ID number and login details for your new account.

Our service is as flexible and hassle-free as possible. There is no redemption required for e-vouchers - you are paid straight into your bank account on the parent’s instruction. The parent’s name and their reference appear on the remittance advice, so you can keep track of who has paid you. Alternatively, you can agree a reference with the parent for payments via their e-voucher accounts to keep track of which child the payment relates to.

E-vouchers work in a similar way to online banking, allowing parents to transfer their payments straight into your bank account. Payment is fast and secure and you will receive payment notification via email.

Parents and guardians may pay for any registered childcare with childcare vouchers.

Registered childcare includes:

  • Nannies
  • Childminders
  • Nurseries
  • Pre-schools
  • Day care
  • Before and after school care
  • Holiday schemes
  • Sitter services (Scotland)
  • Activity based care e.g. sports and drama coaching

Registration bodies include:

  • Ofsted (England)
  • Care Inspectorate (Scotland)
  • Care and Social Services Inspectorate (Wales)
  • Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)

The portal is highly secure, with all parties using a unique username and password to log in. Your bank details are stored securely within our system.

Sodexo is a proud member of the CVPA (Childcare Voucher Providers Association). The industry association was established to protect all stakeholders’ (employers, parents and childcare providers) interests by ensuring best practice by its members through security of voucher funds, integrity of data management and service levels.

Parents can assign a reference to each payment they make to your bank account. This will appear on the remittance advice along with the parent’s name.

You will receive a remittance advice for each payment made to your bank account. This will show the date, who has paid you and a reference or code if you have requested one to be used. You will also have full access to online statements in your online account. This option will allow you to track all payments and provides the full history of the vouchers you have redeemed.

You should be able to see all payments in the statement, however if you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact our Customer Care team.

If you would like further advice or information, please get in touch with the team.

Email: customercare.engage.uk@sodexo.com

Phone: 0800 328 7411*

Address: Sodexo Motivation Solutions, Unit 5 Albany Court, Albany Park, Frimley Road, Camberley, Surrey GU16 7QR

*Please note all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.

If you are a registered childcare provider, all you need to do is need to sign up for an account by visiting https://childcare.mysodexo.co.uk/register-provider and completing the online form provided.

You will be required to enter your approved company name and reference number provided to you by your registration body (e.g. Ofsted).

Once your details have been validated, you will be sent a welcome email containing your Childcare provider ID number and login details for your new account.

Alternatively, a parent can request for a childcare provider to be added to the Sodexo network, in which case, a link will be sent to the childcare provider where they can register online.

If you temporarily lose access to the internet, you can manage your account by calling our friendly customer care team on 0800 328 7411.

Once we have received your Childcare provider Agreement and a copy of your registration certificate, you will be sent a welcome email, containing your Childcare provider ID number.

In April 2017 the government started the roll out of a new scheme called Tax Free Childcare (TFC). Under TFC, eligible families will receive 20% of their annual childcare cost, up to a maximum of £10,000 of registered childcare, giving a maximum saving per child up to the age of 12 of £2,000 (or £20,000 of registered childcare giving a maximum saving per disabled child of £4,000 up to the age of 17).

From April 2018, parents that are existing members of the current childcare voucher scheme will be able to stay in the existing scheme, but no new entrants to the childcare voucher scheme will be permitted from this date.

For more information and to access a TFC versus Childcare Voucher calculator, please go to www.tax-free-childcare.info

You must let us know, in writing, if any of your details change. You can either email customercare.motivation.uk@sodexo.com or write to us at:

Sodexo Motivation Solutions UK Ltd
Unit 5 Albany Court
Albany Business Park
Frimley Road
Camberley
Surrey
GU16 7QR