A new report highlights the value of childcare vouchers for employers, offering some interesting findings for companies that want to support parents through their workforce management efforts.

The Childcare Voucher Providers Association (CVPA) surveyed over 1,600 organisations offering this particular benefit and found that the vast majority (97 per cent) do so because they consider it important to help parents with childcare costs.

A similar proportion (94 per cent) said the vouchers played a significant part in the delivery of a family-friendly working environment.

Two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents said offering childcare vouchers was important for employee retention.

In the 2013 Budget, the government announced plans to introduce a new tax-free childcare initiative for working families.

Under the scheme, parents will be provided with 20 per cent of their childcare expenses, up to a maximum of £1,200 for each child.

Seven out of ten (70 per cent) employers surveyed by the CVPA were unsure about the change or did not agree that it was a positive step.

Julian Foster, one of the association's board members, said the research makes a "significant contribution" to the ongoing debate over tax-free childcare.

"It highlights not only the importance of employers in administering the current childcare voucher scheme, but demonstrates how and why employers want to continue to be involved in helping working parents with the cost of their childcare," he added.

"The CVPA therefore encourages the government to outline a defined and meaningful role for employers in the delivery of tax-free childcare."

Interested parties have been given until October 14th 2013 to comment on the design and operation of the government's new initiative on childcare expenses.

The consultation covers various aspects of the proposed programme, including eligibility criteria, the management of voucher accounts for each child, the role of the market and other key information.

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