Leading UK childcare voucher providers, Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers; Grass Roots Group; and Sodexo Pass, are to use the findings of a consultation to inform a Code of Practice on childcare voucher excellence.
The Code of Practice will be launched this autumn, overseen by a new representative body for the childcare voucher industry.
This will establish voluntary industry standards and promote high quality of service across the childcare voucher sector.
The consultation revealed that childcare providers also view vouchers positively, with 43% of respondents rating them as an ‘extremely valuable’ income stream.
- 68% of respondents considered vouchers to be either valuable or extremely valuable as an income stream
- 21% of respondents stated that up to 30% of their income is received through vouchers
- 61% were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service from their voucher provider
- 6% stated they were very unsatisfied with the service they had received
- 61% rated the administration of the scheme as either easy, or very easy
- Greater use of electronic payments would be keenly supported by 75% of the sector
- In 62% of cases, it was considered that voucher providers communicated either well or very well with childcare providers
- Prompt payments, matching payments to children and better communication were all listed as potential areas for improvement
Speaking on behalf of the childcare voucher companies, Simon Moore, managing director of Busy Bees Childcare Vouchers, said: “All the companies involved in this process are keen to ensure high standards are consistently applied across the sector.
“We have a common interest in promoting excellence in the delivery of childcare vouchers, and are pleased that this consultation demonstrated that childcare providers, parents and employers alike do value the scheme. We look forward to continuing to work collectively through the new Code of Practice when it is launched later this year.”
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association, commented: “Childcare vouchers are a positive benefit for families, and our members recognise the value of them.
“However, there have been unintended consequences for childcarers from the administration of voucher schemes. These consultation findings reflect feedback from members around how improved matching of payments to children would help them, and we welcome the forthcoming Code of Practice which we hope will help iron out such difficulties.
“NDNA looks forward to the publication of the code, and will be highlighting how it is essential that both voucher providers sign up and that there are routes to address any breach of the code.”
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