FAQs

All you need to know about our Childcare Providers

What are Childcare Vouchers?
Childcare vouchers are just a different way for parents to pay their childcare costs, which provides significant savings on their tax and NI contributions. 

Do I have to accept Childcare Vouchers?
With so many childcare voucher providers now on the market, you may wonder why you would want to register with another one! We appreciate that all childcare providers who accept childcare vouchers do so out of choice, and that no carer is under any obligation to do so. Therefore we have devised our scheme to be as simple and low admin as possible, to make life easy for you. We value all the childcare providers who register with us, and strive to offer excellent customer service to you. 

Who are Co-operative Flexible Benefits?
Co-operative Flexible Benefits is a trading group of The Midcounties Co-operative - you may already be familiar with the Co-operative movement if you shop in your local Co-op store, use the Co-op Bank or book your holidays with Co-op Travel. Co-operative Flexible Benefits offers childcare vouchers to employers all over the UK, and has childcare providers from all over the UK registered on our system.

How do I register with Co-operative Flexible Benefits?
You simply complete a registration form that we will send or email to you, which will take less than 5 minutes. Once registered, we will write to you to confirm that you are on our system, and to let you know your account number. You simply need to give this account number to any parents who want to pay you with Co-operative Flexible Benefits childcare vouchers.

All childcare providers in England must be registered with Ofsted in order to receive payment in childcare vouchers. Registration with appropriate regulatory bodies is also required in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We require evidence of this registration to ensure parents can only redeem Childcare Vouchers with qualifying childcare providers. 

How often do I need to register with Co-operative Flexible Benefits?
Only once. As soon as you are set up on our system to receive childcare vouchers you can accept payment from any parent who has childcare vouchers through Co-operative Flexible Benefits. 

So how does the scheme work?
All parents will have their own accounts with the childcare voucher funds deposited into them by their employer. All they need to do is to request a payment to be made to you over the internet or telephone. 

How am I paid?
You will be paid by BACS, directly into your bank account which is why we ask for your bank details on the application form. 

How quickly will I be paid?
Our primary concern for the childcare providers who register with us is to offer a service that gives payment quickly and accurately, and paying you by BACS helps us achieve this. We initiate payment to childcare providers the same day for instructions received by midday or the next day for instructions received after midday. This transaction takes 3-4 working days to clear through the banking system, after which the funds will be deposited directly into the childcare provider's bank account. Remittance advice notes are emailed (or posted) to childcare providers on the day that the transaction is processed. Parents can make payments to you whenever they wish, and as frequently as they wish.

How do I know if a parent has paid me?
Once you have returned your completed form to us, we will open up your own Co-operative Flexible Benefits Childcare account. This account will store all the details of the parents who have made payments to you. You will be able to log onto the Internet and check this statement which will show all the payments that have been made to you, and all those payments which are on their way.

If you don’t have access to the Internet, we can also advise you on the telephone. Further details of the phone system and the internet will be sent to you once we have set up your account. The BACS payments will also appear on your bank statement. 

For more information contact our helpdesk on 0800 458 7929