From the TUC

Understanding how the cost of childcare is affecting low income families

21 May 2011, by Guest in Society & Welfare

The government is cutting the childcare support in the tax credit system. In response, Save the Children and Daycare Trust have launched a major consultation exercise aimed at understanding how the cost of childcare is affecting families.

The Government has yet to set out how support with childcare costs will work under Universal Credit. However, support is likely to be based on the current childcare ‘funding envelope’ but spread over a greater number of parents. We already know that current support isn’t enough. Support will be spread too thinly without extra funding, with some parents finding they’re priced out of the jobs market by high childcare costs.  

So we want to know what impact the rising cost of childcare is having on families – from forcing them to cut back on household essentials, to making it difficult for parents – especially those on the lowest incomes –  to find or keep jobs. We hope to reach 70,000 parents with our  survey. We would urge readers to publicise the survey which takes just five minutes to fill out online at www.savethechildren.org.uk/childcare We’ll be closing the survey early June.

Not only are low income families facing mounting prices, they must now also contend with the government’s cut to the childcare element of working tax credit – a cut that runs counter to the Coalition’s aim of boosting employment. We hope that the survey results will bring home to government the impact high childcare costs are having  on  families, so that they reconsider this recent cut and increase the childcare funding  available  for  the new Universal Credit.

GUEST POST: Graham Whitham is the UK Poverty Policy Advisor at Save the Children, leading on policy and research work into child poverty and family finances. Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. In the UK Save the Children are a leading member of the End Child Poverty Coalition and believe no child should have their childhood experiences or life chances damaged by living in poverty.