Government listens to parents on childcare costs

Today the government has announced that parents on low to middle incomes who work, or want to work, less than 16 hours a week, will now be able to claim help from the government with their childcare costs. 

The government has found money from outside the existing childcare budget for this extension of support.

It’s thanks to your support

Thanks to Save the Children’s campaign, and the support of thousands of members of the public who contacted their MP, the government has shown that they’ve listened to the concerns of campaigners and parents about the impact of childcare costs on families up and down the country.

Today’s announcement is great news for the thousands of families who will benefit, and especially for the children in those families. Being able to afford childcare is so crucial for parents to be able to take up work and, for the poorest parents, to be able to work their way out of poverty.

The fight goes on

There are 1.6 million children in the UK who live in severe poverty, their parents unable to afford the basics like enough food, heating and clothing. Most of these children are in households where no adult works, and it’s the cost of childcare that’s stopping many from being better off  by working.

We recently carried out a survey of parents with Daycare Trust, which showed that a quarter of parents in severe poverty who responded had given up work because of childcare costs. And a third had been forced to turn down a job because of the high cost of childcare.

One step on a long road

Extending help with childcare costs to parents working fewer hours will mean that more parents will be able to re-enter the job market and start working their way out of poverty. Those already in work, and working less than 16 hours a week, will now be better off.

However, we believe that the government will still have to invest more to support families with their childcare costs, if it’s going to deliver on its promise to make work a genuine route out of poverty for the poorest families.

Our survey also showed that low-income parents working longer hours had been hit by a cut to support for childcare costs that the government made in April this year.

Hit hard

Previously, low- to middle-income parents were able to claim up to 80% of their childcare costs (up to weekly maximum limits). In April, the government reduced this to 70%.

Worryingly, 40% of parents in severe poverty who responded to our survey said that this cut meant that they were now thinking about giving up their job, putting their family at much greater risk of slipping into severe poverty.

So, while we warmly welcome today’s announcement, we’ll continue to call on the government to do more to support all low income families with their childcare costs, whether they work part time or full time. It’s the only way we’ll make sure that our children don’t grow up in poverty because of the high cost of childcare.

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  • It goes to show that when we make the effort to sign these petitions, it can result in action being taken.

  • Why cant grandparents be paid for child care there the ones who do it all.
    The kids are safer than with strangers and will taught better values looked after better…

  • Terry Kirby

    I agree totally that parents who struggle financially should have as much help as they need to enable them to work part time while still supporting their children, so that no chikld goes without the true comfort of a real parnet’s love in their formative years when they most need it.

  • Thanks, we are for all– all are for us for doing best world-wide. So, share what can we do together for the above world-wide, improving everyone’s physical, mental & spiritual health based on ‘Total Health Solution’ removing ignorance +evilness from us. go ahead with full strength to encourage everyone for a healthy + improved next Generation. thanks again to all.

  • Emma T

    I don’t think this expense and struggle is limited to poor families. I get a good wage (although my OH is self employed with on and off/non-regular wage), and although I am going to be able to afford childcare for my one baby, if we decide to have another I will have to give up work as childcare costs for 2 children plus commuting costs will mean it’s just not worth it even though I love my job and feel it’s the best for both the family, me & children. However that means we’ll be horrendously worse off and as my area doesn’t really have any jobs in anything like what I do, I’ll probably struggle to find something I enjoy doing/want to do/that’s at my level nearby. But that’s the choice we will have to make for our family as whether we have another child, not to base it on whether we’ll get help from the government.

  • Well Done!!!!! this is great news for a lot of parents… thank you!!!

  • willow

    poor kids

  • Manny Emma

    Please, can somebody tell me how I can assess this new child care benefit introduced by government . Thanks

  • Hi Emma – you can find information on government help for childcare costs at the Directgov website at

  • Cornelia Wakhanu

    Thanks to to the Govt’s committment to exercise its stewarship role in participating in care of the its people.

    Everybody has a right to equally benefit from the services/care in the country for the beteterment of its development.

    It is from the best care althrough from the young age that determines the best outcome and future status of the country.

    I really do not know what assistance is given to the old people over there but when I take an example from herein Kenya, they really take care of the young ones very well if they are healthy. I should say far better than the moms who migjt always be away at work elsewhere or very much committted in the family chores.

    I would suggest the care be taken to them and due to their weakness at heavy physical work, other chores like washing , etc be handed over to someone else. All must be paid whether the granny or the caretaker who is employed at the same home. This happened to me to one of my children. The best granny is the mom’s granny as compared to the father’s side granny. I do not know what happens in UK who is the best!!!!!
    Ofcourse I tried both sides but it came true just as what many people said and still say.

    Thanks for the support to the child care but; “what is the best approach to ensure the child is bonded to the family for the mental development?”