Employer Supported Childcare

Updated on 15 March 2018

Some employers offer Employer Supported Childcare (ESC) to help towards the costs of qualifying childcare. It is up to your employer whether they decide to offer ESC or not. There are three types of ESC:

  1. Workplace nurseries – This is where your employer has a nursery or crèche at your place of work.
  2. Directly contracted childcare – This is where your employer arranges with a commercial childcare provider to provide childcare for you.
  3. Childcare vouchers – This is the most common type of ESC. Your employer may give you vouchers that you can use to pay for childcare. Your employer may give you these in addition to your salary or you can choose to give up some of your salary to buy childcare vouchers (called salary sacrifice). You save tax and national insurance on the value of the vouchers.

Originally it was announced that the tax and NI relief associated with directly contracted childcare and childcare vouchers would not be available to any new applicants after 5 April 2018. The Government has now confirmed that this will be extended by 6 months.

In this section we explain more about childcare vouchers, the most common type of ESC.