Childcare Vouchers: Who Benefits? An Assessment of Evidence from the Family Resources Survey

The Government introduced tax relief on childcare vouchers in 2005 to provide greater childcare support for parents. In recent months, the role of childcare vouchers has come under intense scrutiny, and the Government has pledged to reduce the tax relief available to higher rate taxpayers from 2011. But the debate around this issue has been characterized by a lack of evidence on who actually uses childcare vouchers.

How do vouchers fit in with other forms of childcare support that are available? How many people claim them in the UK? Are they typically rich professionals,or are voucher users representative of all socio-economic groups? How much does the policy cost the Government and how much will the recently proposed reforms save? All these questions and more are answered in this important and timely evidence paper.

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