Edenred, the world’s leading name in employee benefits, incentives and rewards, has urged businesses to help ensure employees with older children don’t miss out on the benefits of childcare vouchers.
Many companies have a habit of promoting their family-friendly policies towards young families or mothers going on maternity leave, and as a result, many parents mistakenly assume that childcare vouchers are only for young children.
In actual fact, they can be used to pay for the care of children until the first September after their fifteenth birthday. For children registered as disabled, childcare vouchers can be used until the first September following their sixteenth birthday.
Laura Czapiewski, Edenred Childcare Voucher Product Manager, said: “It isn’t just working parents with young children that need support. Working parents with older children need support too.
“The needs of working parents do not end when children start school, and many parents agree that the pre-teen and teenage years can be the most challenging – emotionally and financially. However, many parents of older children are unaware of what they are entitled to.”
Childcare vouchers can be used to pay for a range of things, from nursery care through to holiday and community play schemes. Edenred offers discounts at a range of day and residential holiday clubs, allowing parents to make significant savings.
According to Ms Czapiewski, the key to ensuring parents of older children are able to take advantage of the benefits on offer is good communication.
She said: “When launching a family friendly benefit, it is tempting for businesses to use images of babies and toddlers in the promotion. However, good providers should supply an array of materials designed to attract the interest of parents of older children, using images and messages relating to preteens and teenagers.
“Two way communication is also very important. Surveying employees to find out the ages of their children can be useful because this allows businesses to properly tailor the benefits on offer to each employee. Once businesses have promoted a specific benefit to their employees, it is imperative that HR departments and line managers are fully aware of the scope of availability of these benefits so they can advise employees how and where they can be accessed.”