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Upfront for families? Childcare costs in universal credit

29 October 2019
For many families upfront childcare costs are a significant barrier to work. Under tax credits, parents can get financial support for upfront childcare costs. However, under universal credit any help with childcare is paid retrospectively. This is a big problem as the majority of childcare requires parents to pay for a month/term in advance.

Working lone parents face drastic and growing income shortfalls

04 September 2019
Working lone parents on reasonable pay cannot reach a minimum acceptable living standard – as defined by the public - even if they work full time, new research for Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) shows.

The Cost of a Child in 2019

04 September 2019
The latest report in our annual Cost of a Child series finds that the overall cost of a child up to age 18 (including rent and childcare) is £185,000 for lone parents (up 19% since 2012) and £151,000 for couples (up 5.5% since 2012). The gap between lone parents’ actual income and what they need to meet family needs has grown sharply.

Costs and spending on decent childhoods

04 September 2019
The new school year is underway after the long summer break. This can be an expensive time for families. Most parents will have faced significant costs in recent weeks, from holiday childcare to new school uniforms. But to what extent are different families able to meet those costs? Every year for the past eight years, we have published research on what it costs to raise children from birth to age 18. This year the research coincides with the Spending Review, and puts a spotlight on how the government does support, and how it should support, families with the extra costs of children.

Back to school - back to work

27 August 2019
A new blog by the Early Warning System explains why claiming childcare costs in universal credit may not always be straightforward

Universal credit and childcare costs - what you need to know

20 August 2019
As the school year starts again, parents will be sending their wee ones off to school or nursery and will perhaps be thinking about moving into work themselves. For lots of people this will also involve turning to universal credit for help to pay with childcare costs. A new report from CPAG in Scotland’s Early Warning System suggests for some parents and childcare providers claiming universal credit childcare costs may be not be entirely straightforward.

Universal credit: a new era?

11 January 2019
Universal credit needs fixing. That’s certainly not the first time we’ve said that, but today the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd MP seemed to agree. At a Jobcentre in south London we got our first glimpse of what changes she has planned to make the benefit work better for everyone. Meanwhile, a couple of miles away the High Court announced that we had won our universal credit assessment period case. What do these two things mean for people claiming universal credit?

Child Poverty Action Group welcomes universal credit changes

07 June 2018
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has called for key cuts to Universal Credit to be reversed following new DWP evidence showing a large number of claimants are struggling to make ends meet many months into their claims.

Budget 2017: rescue package for universal credit but no structural reform to keep the promise of greater rewards from work

22 November 2017
“We were the first to sound the alarm over the waiting days for universal credit, so we’re pleased the Chancellor has acted to remove them and put in place new arrangements for receiving advances as part of an emergency rescue package, but this should have been the budget that ushered in much needed structural reform of Universal Credit"