Staff in the Department can utilise the Westminster Holiday Play Scheme. This is a childcare facility that takes place during school holidays, open to children from the age of 4 years and 9 months up to 15 years’ old. It is run by a private company on behalf of a consortium of departments, through a contract led and administered by BEIS. It currently operates at 4 London locations. Parents/guardians meet more than half of the costs for children attending this scheme, but the Department pays either £14.78 or £15.68 (dependent on the age of the child) towards each day’s use of the scheme.
During FY 2016/17, Home Office has recorded spend of £4045.84 on this play scheme. The Department does not collate details on the number of individual staff members who made use of the scheme or on the amounts spent per child.
More widely, the Home Office operates a Childcare Voucher Salary Sacrifice Scheme for staff. Staff can choose to take part of their salary (up to £243 per month) in the form of childcare vouchers. As the vouchers are exempt from Tax and NI, a saving is made. The vouchers can be used to help meet the costs of a range of registered childcare.