Two types of financial support are available under the Ofsted regsiter which came into force in April 2007: working tax credits and employer-supported childcare vouchers.
Many nanny employers will not benefit from the working tax credit as only households with a combined family income of £59,000 or less will qualify.
However, it is expected that employer-supported childcare vouchers will become a popular way for parents to make a substantial saving, as this form of tax relief is available to all parents, regardless of income.
Childcare vouchers are just a different way of paying their nanny. Nanny's salary will not change when a parent starts using vouchers, nor will the amount of tax and NI paid on her behalf.
However, the parent will be able to save money on their own tax and NI payments, in some cases as much as £2,000 per family per year. Childcare vouchers can only be used to pay for childcare.
To be able to use childcare vouchers a parent needs to be employed and their employer needs to set up a childcare voucher scheme. Your employer has to run the scheme and currently most big employers do, if not then get your employer to do so as they can also save up to 12.8% of the value of the vouchers issued ( employers NI ). Ask your employer to contact www.employersforchildcare.org and they can set up the scheme for them.If the parent is a company director they can also take advantage of vouchers, providing vouchers are made available to all of their staff as well. Self employed persons are not able to benefit from childcare vouchers.
There are two types of childcare vouchers available: paper vouchers and electronic vouchers and the mechanics of the two are slightly different, with less paperwork involved with electronic vouchers.
The vouchers are issued directly to the nanny from the parent. In the case of paper vouchers, these will be received either in the post or issued by their employer. If electronic vouchers are used the value of these will be deposited into a 'virtual' account which is held with the voucher provider.
Nanny, Mother's Help or Au pair must be registered with Ofsted. The vouchers cover childcare up to the age of fifteen, and they can be used by an au pair, mothers help or nanny that is registered with:
Ofsted (England)-Childcare Register (England).
Local Health and Social Services Trusts (Northern Ireland).
The Care Commission (Scotland).
Childcare Appoval Scheme (Wales).
For the Au pair, Mother´s Help or Nanny to be approved for the scheme by the above bodies shewould typically need some childcare experience and to have paediatric first aid, this organization www.safeandsound.uk.net can arrange the training. For more information please go to hmrc.gov.uk/childcare.
If the nanny is not already registered with a childcare voucher company a welcome pack will be sent to the parent with a registration form for their nanny to fill in. Under the new Ofsted register, their nanny is required to provide the voucher company with a copy of her registration number when she registers.
If paper vouchers have already been issued these need to be included when nanny sends in the registration form.
Once the voucher company has received the registration form they will issue the nanny with a unique service provider number. If electronic vouchers are used the parent needs to authorize the transfer of the value of the vouchers from their virtual account into one that has been set up for nanny. Once the childcare voucher provider has received confirmation of transfer they will issue payment to the value of the vouchers.
Nanny has the option of being paid either by BACS or by cheque. It will take approximately three days for the BACS payment to clear into her bank account. One of the main concerns raised by nannies is whether childcare vouchers will mean that her salary will be late. Initially there will be a slight delay, but once the account is up and running, it should operate smoothly, and not cause any further delays. The parent may wish to consider moving nanny's payday to offset any possible delays.