Unfortunately, the Government closed the Childcare Vouchers scheme to new entrants on 4th October 2018. This means that if you’re a parent looking to join Childcare Vouchers for the first time, or an employer looking to start a scheme in your business for the first time, that option is no longer available to you.
Those parents already on the scheme can continue to benefit from the savings as long as their child remains eligible*, they stay with the same employer, and they have had a wage adjustment and received vouchers within any 12 month period.
Tax-Free Childcare is a new government schemed (launched in 2017) to help working families/careers with the cost of childcare.
To be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare you will need to fall within the following criteria:
- Live and work in the UK
- To be working – employed or self-employed. If you are part of a couple, both of you must be working
- Neither of you expect to earn more than £100,000 in the current tax year.
- Have a child/children living with you under the age of 12
- Use an approved childcare provider
Nannies are part of the approved childcare provider list and they must be Ofsted registered.
For more information and to apply for Tax-Free Childcare click here www.gov.uk/tax-free-childcare
You can also speak to your chosen payroll provider for more guidance.
Who applies for registration?
Nannies must apply themselves and the process can take up to 12 weeks for approval, so it is advisable to get the nanny to apply as soon as an offer of employment has been accepted to avoid lengthy breaks in redeeming vouchers.
The nanny must hold onto the certificate of registration as it is a condition of registration that the nanny shows parents his/her certificate on request. If it gets lost or damaged a replacement must be applied for at a cost of £5.
Is there a charge for applying?
All applicants pay a non-refundable application fee. The application fee (as at November 2018) is £103 and this has to be renewed each year to remain on the register. The nanny will also have to have an up to date enhanced DBS criminal check which costs around £50-£60. We recommend that for up to date information on the costs of registering that you go to the official OFSTED website at www.ofsted.gov.uk.
Who pays for all of the fees associated with registration?
The nanny in the first instance is responsible as the applicant for paying the following:
Application fee – £103
Enhanced DBS criminal check – £50-£60 (only if this has expired)
Public Liability Insurance – ranges between £70 – £90
12 hour Paediatric First Aid – approx. £120 (unless the nanny already holds a valid certificate)
ICP Course – approx. £220 (if the nanny requires childcare training – this should be verified with OFSTED)
It is the nanny’s responsibility to discuss the incurred costs and negotiate with parents on meeting part of the costs incurred in order for parents to claim working tax credits or employer-supported vouchers.
How to apply
The nanny must apply and this can be done online www.ofsted.gov.uk,
How does Ofsted decide if the nanny is suitable?
Ofsted will assess the nanny’s suitability by considering the information on the application form and enhanced DBS. It may be necessary in some circumstances for Ofsted to interview the nanny or carry out further checks. If the nanny has lived abroad in the past three years they should tell Ofsted of the countries they have lived in on the application form. The DBS has reciprocal arrangements with some countries that allow them to check on criminal history. Where there is no such arrangement, Ofsted will normally require the nanny to provide some extra evidence of suitability – this may include:
- A certificate of good conduct from the embassy of the country, in which the nanny lived, accompanied where necessary by a certified translation into English
- A reference from someone of standing in the country, in which the nanny lived, such as a doctor or lawyer
- Evidence to support any work permit
- References from past employers
- Ofsted will contact the nanny if they need additional evidence. If the nanny is unable to supply sufficient evidence, Ofsted may have to refuse the nanny’s registration. Please note this may delay the process.
Can the nanny be refused registration?
Yes, the nanny can be refused if he/she has already been disqualified, is unsuitable, fails to pay the fee or does not agree to the requirements of the register or lives with someone who is disqualified. This is why it is essential that the nanny completes the form carefully and accurately so that a decision can be made on the information given and subsequent checks that are carried out.
What will happen if the nanny is refused registration?
If Ofsted refuse an application they will first write to the nanny and let him/her knows of their intention. The nanny does have a right to object to the refusal and details of how to do this are documented in the letter sent.
If the nanny is refused registration parents will not be able to redeem part of the nanny’s salary against any employer-assisted voucher scheme or working tax credits.
Can the nanny withdraw from the registration process?
A nanny can withdraw their application at any time during the registration process up to the granting or refusing of registration but the application fee is not refundable. The nanny must inform Ofsted in writing if he/she decides to stop the registration process. If the nanny does not tell Ofsted that he/she wants to withdraw their application then Ofsted will continue the process and may have to refuse the nanny’s application for registration. Refusal of registration is a serious step which disqualifies the nanny from providing childcare in the future.
What happens after registration?
Once the nanny has been granted registration a certificate is issued. This is proof that the nanny is registered on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register and must show the certificate to parents on request. As mentioned if the nanny loses the certificate they must apply for a replacement.
Sometimes Ofsted restrict the registration in some way, for example because parts of the home are not suitable for looking after children. These restrictions are known as ‘conditions of registration’ and are shown on your registration certificate. Ofsted can add new conditions, change existing ones or remove conditions at any time during the nanny’s registration. If the nanny does not agree with any conditions he/she has the same rights of objection and appeal.
Once the nanny is registered he/she must continue to meet the requirements relating to people, premises and provision. Ofsted will send a list of these requirements with the registration certificate.
Will the nanny get inspected?
Once registered, Ofsted may inspect the nanny at any time and will always inspect if a complaint is received about the childcare provision that relates to the requirements of registration or any conditions that may have been imposed on the registration. Ofsted will always seek permission from parents to enter the premises.
Following any inspection the nanny will either receive a letter confirming that he/she is meeting the requirements for registration or a letter detailing what must be done in order to remain registered.
What should the nanny do if they no longer wish to be included on the register?
If the nanny no longer wishes to be a registered provider, they need to resign their registration. The nanny must put their resignation in writing and Ofsted will confirm receipt of the resignation letter. Resigning registration does not affect any future application to provide childcare. Please note there is no refund payable.
Where can the nanny gain insurance?
There are lots of companies who can offer insurance for nannies. You can contact one of the following companies: