“Mind the Gap – Raise the Cap” aims to persuade the government to raise the amount of salary a working parent can sacrifice in exchange for childcare vouchers from £55 to £75 per week. The current maximum of £55 has not changed since 2006. A rise will help close the gap which has opened up between the increasing cost of childcare and the value of childcare vouchers and help working parents save more on the cost of childcare.
Alison Chalmers, Director at KiddiVouchers, said:
“The cost of childcare remains a hot topic, with childcare often costing parents as much as their mortgage. Childcare vouchers provide a powerful economic stimulus, by encouraging parents to return to work, by helping to fund high quality early education and by assisting employers who are striving to be family-friendly. The childcare voucher system includes careful controls to ensure funds can only be spent on regulated childcare, meaning that this scheme is more accurately targeted than other types of support. With every penny spent on childcare vouchers going straight back into the economy, we believe this proposal fits well with the Government’s austerity plus growth agenda. ”
At the centre of the campaign is an e-petition by Busy Bees Group Managing Director, John Woodward. This can be found at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31669 and is open until March 2013. The aim is to achieve 100,000 signatures, to make the issue eligible for debate in the House of Commons, leading to a policy change in the 2013 Budget.
John Woodward said:
“We are delighted that KiddiVouchers have joined the Busy Bees campaign. There is always a healthy competition between childcare voucher providers, but it is nice to see that supporting the interests of working parents is actually the reason we are in business”.
The campaign has initially been rolled out via Busy Bees nurseries and Busy Bees Benefits customers and has attracted significant attention in the press and on social media. The e-petition has already attracted support from over 3000 signatories.