Parents are missing out on help with childcare costs over the summer

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The Independent Online

With the school holidays around the corner, more than half of working parents remain unaware they could be using childcare vouchers against the cost of holiday clubs, activity camps and other summer entertainment for the children, says a new survey.

Of the 1,000 parents questioned by the childcare voucher provider Computershare Voucher Services (CVS), 56 per cent said they didn't know they could use government-issued childcare vouchers for these types of activity, with many believing they could only be used for nursery and more traditional childcare.

"Childcare vouchers are far more versatile than some parents realise," says Julian Foster, CVS managing director. "This means lots of families are missing out on vital savings. The summer holidays can be a particularly expensive time for parents, as keeping the kids entertained can soon mount up. I'm surprised how many parents are not using vouchers towards other types of registered childcare."

The CVS figures show only 1 per cent of all childcare vouchers used by parents in the past year were put towards summer holiday clubs and activities; and only 9 per cent for after-school clubs.

"If you're using registered care, be it music lessons and other extracurricular activities," Mr Foster said, "then ask if they take childcare vouchers."

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