According to research by the Childcare Vouchers Providers Association (CVPA), less than a third of employers believe the Government’s overhaul of the childcare voucher scheme for working parents is a positive step.
The CVPA questioned 1,600 companies and found that a quarter of those believed it was a bad idea, with 44% saying they were currently undecided.
The Government will outline plans revealing that families with two working parents on less than £150,000 will receive childcare vouchers worth up to £1,200 a year for each child.
Currently, parents can only claim the vouchers if their employer has signed up to the scheme.
Highlighting other findings from its research, the CVPA said that 65% of employers that offer childcare vouchers said they were important for their retention strategies, while 94% of employers said that offering childcare vouchers was important in improving the family friendly work environment.
Commenting on its worries of the new scheme, Paul Bartlett, Director at the CVPA, said:
“The role of the employer in the current childcare voucher scheme has been a fundamental reason for its success.”
“Ensuring there is a link between the new scheme and employers will help build on this success, and guarantee employers can still play an important role in helping their staff with their childcare costs.”
It is also expected that the Government will expand the scheme to include parents who stay at home because they are carers, and to parents on maternity or paternity leave, although households with a stay-at-home parent will be excluded from the scheme.
Chancellor, George Osborne, said:
“We want to make the new scheme work in the way that is best for parents, so we are asking for their views.”
Ministers say they want feedback from parents for their plans and a simple online version of the 12-week consultation has been prepared for parents by the treasury and will be published later today.