Using COVID-19 funding to tackle child poverty: Guidance for local councils in England

Post date: 
11 January 2021

During the course of the pandemic, local authorities in England have received various tranches of funding aimed at supporting households who might be struggling during the crisis. These have included £500 million of ‘hardship funding’ in March 2020 for councils, and £63 million in June 2020 to go towards local welfare assistance schemes. The most recent funding to be announced is the £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme, which was set up predominantly to target families with children (80 per cent), as well as other households that have been hard hit by the pandemic. The majority of this funding has also been ring-fenced for food and bills (80 per cent). This new funding must be spent between December 2020 and March 2021, and is being paid to councils in two tranches. After that, from the Easter holidays up until Christmas 2021, local authorities will also receive £220 million for the roll-out of the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme.   

This guidance aims to support local authorities to think about how any additional funding received can best help tackle child poverty, and to spark ideas or stimulate interest in developing new approaches in your local authority area. This may include how to spend unallocated money from the COVID Winter Grant Scheme, but also how support to families is being provided, or could be provided by your local council, outside the remit of this grant. 

This is a working document and more information and case studies will be added as they become available.