With the school holidays only weeks away, more than half of working parents remain unaware they could be using childcare vouchers to make big savings on the cost of holiday clubs, activity camps and other summer entertainment for the kids, says a new survey.


Research conducted by leading childcare voucher provider Computershare Voucher Services (CVS) has found that 56% of the parents questioned are unaware they could use childcare vouchers to help with the cost of summer holiday fun, including holiday sports courses and adventure camps such as PGL and Camp Beaumont.


Of the 1000 parents questioned, 56% said they did not know they could use childcare vouchers for these types of activity, with many believing they could only be used for nursery and more traditional childcare.


“Childcare vouchers are far more versatile than some parents realise,” says Julian Foster, CVS managing director. “This means lots of families are missing out on vital savings by failing to take advantage of their many uses.


“The summer holidays can be a particularly expensive time for parents, as paying for additional childcare and keeping the kids entertained can soon mount up. I’m surprised by how many parents are missing out financially by not using vouchers towards other types of registered care.”


Figures revealed by CVS show only 1% of all childcare vouchers used by parents in the last year were put towards summer holiday clubs and activities; and only 9% for after school clubs.


Julian continued: “If you’re using registered care, be it breakfast clubs, after schools clubs, or even music lessons and other extracurricular activities, then ask if they accept childcare vouchers and start making those savings. With family budgets being squeezed more than ever at the moment, every penny really counts.”


According to The Institute for Fiscal Studies, families have lost more than £500 over the past 12 months. The think tank says a combination of stagnant wage increases and high inflation means the typical family is likely to be 3% worse off than the year before.


Childcare costs also continue to soar. The cost of a nursery place for a child aged over two has risen twice as quickly as wages, according to a recent survey by the Daycare Trust, which says fees have increased by 4.8% since last year.


Computershare Voucher Services is the largest dedicated childcare voucher provider, handling childcare vouchers for over 100,000 working parents every month, via 12,000 organisations.


Computershare Voucher Services is now on facebook, the page has separate sections for parents, employers and carers so it’s easy for them to access the information that’s most relevant to them.


88% of CVS vouchers claimed by parents last year were used for nursery, crèche and childminder care


‘Registered’ care: In England this means care registered with Ofsted. In Wales – the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, Scotland – Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care and Northern Ireland – the Health and Social Services Trust.


State school holiday dates 2011 (approx. Independent schools may differ)

England: Break up July 22nd return Sept 5th

Scotland: Break up July 1st return Aug 16th


About Computershare Voucher Services (CVS)


Computershare Voucher Services acquired Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers in September 2008. We are responsible for the administration, management and development of childcare vouchers, an employee benefit available to all eligible working parents. Once an employer is registered with childcare vouchers, parents are entitled to exchange a part of their salary for vouchers. This part of their salary is exempt from tax and National Insurance contributions. Childcare vouchers are National Insurance exempt for employers.


Computershare Voucher Services is currently working with other voucher providers across the industry, including Accor, Grassroots and Sodexho, to establish an industry code of practice to ensure that employers, employees and carers can all benefit from registered childcare voucher schemes.


For more information visit: www.computersharevoucherservices.com