Schools which deliver a range of services beyond their core function of classroom education are known as ‘extended schools’, offering anything from childcare outside basic school hours, to sports and arts activities and adult learning sessions.
A lot has happened since the last issue of Poverty hit your desks. A new prime minister, new ministerial teams, and Brexit on the horizon. We have had only some indications of the direction the new government intends to take.
New research from 4in10 and the Family and Childcare Trust shows that parents in London are paying over £1 billion on childcare every year. In the run up to the mayoral elections, Megan Jarvie ran a series of focus groups with parents on low incomes to discover the issues they wanted the next mayor to address.
We are still not all in this together – so where now? Several articles in this issue add to the mounting evidence of the effects of government cuts on particular groups, showing once again that we are not all in this together.
Since 2012, Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have been measuring the cost of a child and the adequacy of family incomes and benefit levels. This year, for the first time, the project also assessed the additional costs facing families in London.
This month’s edition of Poverty has a significant focus on costs. At a time when we are experiencing zero inflation, and macroeconomists are fretting about the spectre of deflation, this may seem incongruous. Yet the cost of a raising a child, particularly childcare and rent, continues to creep up, at the same time as the means for meeting these costs continue to be eroded.
Mark Willis describes a new scheme due for introduction during 2015, aimed at assisting with childcare costs for some families, and its exclusive interaction with universal credit (UC) and tax credits. UPDATE: Tax-Free Childcare will not be introduced until 2017.