Childcare vouchers should be made available to the self-employed

Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Sodexo Motivation Solutions, a leading provider of employee benefits and childcare vouchers, is calling on the Government to extend childcare vouchers to self-employed parents in order to help self-employed and start-up businesses.

With the Government looking to entrepreneurs to pave the way towards revitalizing the economy, Sodexo Motivation Solutions believes that this tax free salary sacrifice scheme should be available to all working parents, including the self-employed.

The childcare voucher schemes that are currently available through most employers allow parents to save significant amounts of money each year on childcare for children up to the age of 15. The vouchers can be used to pay for all or part of the costs of any registered childcare provider that the parents choose to use, as well as holiday camps and after school clubs. If both working parents participate in the scheme, they can save up to approximately £1,866 a year.

Sodexo Motivation Solutions’ managing director, Iain McMath said:

“It is a pity that the Government has made no indication that it will be making this tremendously helpful scheme available to all working parents. There are more new startups during this recession than at any other time. Based on official statistics, in the spring of 2010 self-employment was higher than at the start of the recession in 2008 and by the autumn of 2011 had reached a record level of 4.14 million (14.2% of total employment).

With the rising costs of childcare hitting families hard the Government needs to be supporting this group, which it views as central to economic recovery, with as much help as possible. Offering childcare vouchers would be a relatively small investment, yet has the potential of making a huge difference. “