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It is nice to split your work-life balance so you feel you are not missing out on bringing up your children and to not lose your life as a doctor (and have some adult time!). Some of us choose a childminder, some choose nursery, others are lucky to have willing parents. This is a very individual choice and we are happy to be contacted to explain why we made our particular decisions. For those that pay for childcare, here is some very helpful information on childcare vouchers to save you a lot of money.

Childcare vouchers

Childcare vouchers allow you to exchange a proportion of your salary for vouchers before the usual tax and NI contributions are taken and are a good way of saving money.  You can actually set up the scheme and start saving from when your child is born and you don't need to wait until you put your child into childcare.  They can be claimed until your child is 15 years old.

How does it work?

A maximum amount of £243 a month is deducted from you pay before tax etc each month (although the government may be increasing this limit very soon)

This money goes into the childcare voucher scheme used by your employer

You pay your childcare fees from this voucher scheme and if your childcare costs come to over this amount then you pay the difference

This means you save around £77 a month and over £900 a year because you are not paying tax on the £243. This amount is less however if you are in the higher earning 40% tax band category

If you have a partner who works, they should be able to do the same and the savings add up!

Tips:

They can be used for most home based care such as child minders, nannies and au pairs, pre-school care such as nursery schools, play schools and crèches and also care for older children such as out of school clubs (breakfast clubs, afterschool clubs) and holiday clubs 

Each place you work will probably have a different voucher scheme that they use! This is a pain when you move jobs every 6 months as you usually end up missing out on a few months while it gets set up

The Horton uses Eden red but there are loads of others that the different GP practices will use.  Two practices in Bicester and Brackley use the Computershare voucher services scheme 

Setting it up is pretty straight forward and is done by online registration

There are details that you may need to give like the account/membership number from your place of work and maybe your payroll number. You will also need to know what the childcare membership/registration number is for the particular scheme

You can set up a standing order or do a money transfer online from the voucher scheme to pay the childcare place and then you would pay the difference

It is worth getting the scheme set up and doing it early

This is something you have to set up and don't assume your employer will do it – a mistake a lot of us make!

Give payroll or the practice manager a ring to find out which voucher scheme they use and what information you need to set up a voucher scheme

Useful resources

Computershare voucher scheme:

http://www.computersharevoucherservices.com/parents/Pages/what-are-childcare-vouchers.aspx

Edenred website with useful information:

http://www.childcarevouchers.co.uk/Parents/Pages/default.aspx

This is a basic PDF document explaining the process, written by another childcare voucher scheme:

http://www.childcare-vouchers.net/media/3691/employee_enquiry_guide.pdf

 
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