Will there be any effect on my state benefits?

Participation may impact upon your entitlement to certain state benefits, for example, you may be worse off joining the scheme if you receive the childcare element of Working Tax Credits.

What will I see on my payslip?

If you have signed up for care-4 you will see your revised salary and details of the care-4 benefit as a separate non-payable amount on your payslip. If you have joined the scheme as part of a flexible benefits scheme package, your payslip will show the total amount of salary reduction for your flexible benefits.

How will my employer decide what my tax and NI exempt level is?

Your employer will undertake a Basic Earnings Assessment (BEA) when you join, and annually at the start of each tax year to determine the minimum level at which you save tax and NI on this benefit. The value assessed will be valid until the new tax year.

Can I join care-4 before I know who my carer is?

Yes, subject to your company scheme rules, as long as you can be sure that you’ll be using a Registered or Approved carer.

Can I cancel the agreement at any time?

Membership into the scheme is normally for 12 months, so check your employer's scheme rules. You can cancel at the end of the minimum period or subject to a specific lifestyle event, as detailed above.

What happens if I leave my employer?

You need to tell your employer and care-4 immediately if you decide to leave. Payments to your care-4 account will stop, and you can use remaining funds to authorise payments to your pre-registered carers.

Can I choose my own carer(s)?

Yes, providing they are Registered or Approved with the appropriate body. The Family and Childcare Trust offers a search facility for Ofsted-approved childcare across local authority boundaries.

Can I use the scheme to pay relatives?

No, unless the relative is a Registered Childminder and also cares for other children as well as your own. Spouses / partners or parents of the child for cannot be paid via care-4, even if they look after other children as well as their own.

What does being a Registered or Approved carer mean?

Registered childcare includes:

  • registered childminders, nurseries and play schemes
  • out-of-hours clubs on school premises run by a school or local authority
  • childcare schemes run by school governing bodies under the extended schools scheme
  • childcare schemes run by approved providers, for example, an out of school hours scheme or a provider approved under a Ministry of Defence accreditation scheme

A Registered childminder, nursery or childcare scheme is one that is registered:

  • in England, by Ofsted or the National Care Standards Commission
  • in Wales, by the National Assembly for Wales (through the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales)
  • in Scotland, with the Scottish Care Commission, and in Northern Ireland, by a Health and Social Services Trust

Approved childcare includes:

  • Nannies or au pairs
  • Carers who are not legally required to register in order to care for children
Can I change my nominated childcare provider(s)?

Yes, you can register a new carer at any time – please allow time for us to contact them to confirm eligibility and bank account details and get them set up with care-4 before you can arrange payment.

Who authorises Registered or Approved childcare providers?

Christmas & New Year Opening Hours

Please see below details of our office opening hours and payment processing times during the Christmas and New Year period:

Monday 18th to Thursday 21st December (inclusive): 9am-5pm
Friday 22nd December: 9am-2pm
Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th December (inclusive): Closed
Wednesday 27th to Thursday 28th December (inclusive): 9am-5pm
Friday 29th December: 9am-2pm
Monday 1st January: Closed

Any carer payments made after 12pm on the following dates will be processed on the next working day:

  • Friday 22nd December
  • Wednesday 27th December 
  • Thursday 28th December
  • Friday 29th December 

Any carer payments scheduled for Monday 25th or Tuesday 26th December will be processed on Wednesday 27th December and any carer payments scheduled for Monday 1st January 2024 will be processed on Tuesday 2nd January. 

Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday 2nd January 2024.

Merry Christmas from everyone at care-4