Childcare Vouchers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Childcare Vouchers

    Hi, can I ask a question that my sister asked me earlier. How do the childcare vouchers you can get work. Would I as a childminder (all being well) have to register to accept them? DO they get paid directly to me. Any info would be gratefully received. thanks x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    in the never never land fighting off fae
    Registered Childminder since
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    The parent registers first with whatever voucher company their workplace uses. You then register with them. Then every month you will get a certain amount of your fees pay via them.
    When someone tells you nothing is impossible, tell them to go slam a revolving door

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    at my computer, of course
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
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    [This is a copy/paste of an old post, so apologies to members who've seen it before.]

    I accept vouchers from 2 companies at present and have used 2 others in the past. I was nervous about it at first (I like to be in control) but regard as really easy now.

    As mentioned, it can take a little time to set up cos although some of the process can be done online, most voucher companies won't activate your account until they've seen a copy of your CM certificate and insist on it being snail-mailed to them. Mind you, I found one company doesn't ask for the certificate, as they can verify a CM's details directly with Ofsted. I've no idea why more voucher providers don't do this. (But then I've no idea why Ofsted ask me 'security' questions when I 'phone them cos the information they want is not hard for anyone to get hold of.) I digress....

    The parent needs to tell you exactly which voucher provider they'll be using. To avoid confusion (and registering with the wrong company) insist that she provides the contact telephone, email and website url. (ie. Make sure it's her fault if anything goes t1t5up.)

    You should set payment-in-advance terms the same as for any other client, and it's up to parent whether s/he settles the 1st month by cash or voucher. But it should be on time without any excuse about the vouchers. If her employer has a voucher scheme, they can set up her end of things ahead of time to be ready for when it's needed. Granted, if she's paying you out of her very first pay packet then she's maybe not had time to get the voucher ball rolling. But the essence of it is: lack of planning on her part should not constitute a crisis on your part. By accepting the vouchers, you are saving her money. There's no reason why saving her money should inconvenience you or entitle her to more favourable terms than you'd offer any other client.

    A few things I wish I'd known before I accepted vouchers for the first time (and I'm assuming you're having the whole thing done automatically, not dealing with 'paper vouchers'):-

    1. Talk to the voucher company. They know everyone has a first time, and it's in their interests to help you have a hassle-free experience. They do a highly unspecialised job (taking money from one account and putting it in another - not exactly mind taxing stuff ) so they've already worked out that they only compete with one another on who can offer the best customer service.

    2. When you receive an email saying the vouchers have been transferred to your account, it does not mean the cash is in your bank yet. Since any delay in clearing is usually down to the recipient's bank, remember that part is not the parent's fault. It's up to the parent to get the vouchers into your voucher account by the due date, but the rest isn't her problem. You may wish to adjust her due payment date to allow for the sluggishness of your own particular bank (even their computers don't work weekends.)

    3. Check your settings. You should ask the voucher company to make sure their computer searches your account for vouchers and transfers them to your bank account every day. I know this sounds crazy, but a lot of CMs make the quite reasonable mistake of setting it to check once a month. That can mean waiting a whole month to get hold of the cash if the computer is 'looking for' a voucher payment the day before it arrives - because it won't start 'looking' again for a whole nother month. This can happen with at least one of the voucher companies.

    4. Never, ever, ever refund a voucher payment in cash. Don't even consider it. Technically it's tax fraud and money laundering. If mum overpays by vouchers, then you can carry over the credit to the next bill or contact the voucher company to transfer the credit back into her voucher account. Tell her this. Tell her that you are giving her information, not entering into a discussion.

    5. You are not responsible for how mum manages her voucher account. If she pays too much of her salary in and can't get it out: her problem, not yours.

    6. Don't take any BS from mum about the voucher company delaying transactions. Parents sometimes try it on and say "oh I expect the voucher company gets delayed by the bank holiday", etc. I got my December vouchers credited on Boxing Day. In fact, they frequently draw down the money from the employer's payroll several days before the parent's due pay day. I tell my voucher-paying parents that I expect the credit on time and no arguments. First time they're late I'd issue a warning, second time and I refuse to accept anything but cash or BACS from the parents. They know the vouchers save them money, so none of them have messed me about so far.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Registered Childminder since
    Jan 12
    Latest Inspection Grade
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    Default Childcare Vouchers

    Excuse me for jumping in mummymcd but I was also just searching for info on Childcare Vouchers and found your thread answered my questions too. This very informative with great tips bunyyip.



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