Sodexo Motivation Solutions, a leading provider of employee benefits and childcare vouchers, is urging employers to raise awareness of the different employee benefits available to support working parents, so that employees can receive the help they need to manage childcare needs as the school year starts once again.

Although childcare is often in high demand during the school holidays, many working parents also need support during term time, especially if they start work before or finish after school hours. Employers can help parents to manage this challenge by offering flexible working solutions, such as allowing parents to work during school hours, or by providing childcare vouchers via a tax-free salary sacrifice scheme.

Childcare voucher schemes are currently available through most employers and allow parents with children up to the age of 15 to save significant amounts of money each year on childcare. The vouchers can be used as payment towards the costs of any registered childcare provider that the parents choose, as well as many before and after school clubs. If both working parents participate in the scheme, they can save up to approximately £1,866 a year. The scheme also benefits employers financially, allowing them to save up to £402 per year for any employees enrolled in the scheme.

Iain McMath, managing director, Sodexo Motivation Solutions said:

“Many businesses allow for extended holidays and flexible working arrangements during school holidays, yet few have a specific strategy outlined for term time. Childcare vouchers and flexible working schemes are just two of the ways in which employers can support their staff. In particular, childcare vouchers offer a wider degree of choice, allowing parents to decide how best to manage childcare needs while making savings of up to £933 a year.”

McMath continues:

“With the rising costs of childcare hitting families hard, employers need to be offering all the support they can. With a relatively small investment, businesses can make childcare more affordable for their employees, and can also make it easier for working parents to arrange before and after-school care for their children at the same time.”