As part of Save the Children’s Make Childcare Work campaign, we took a group of eleven mums to Parliament in July to call for change to upfront childcare costs under Universal Credit. They gave evidence to a parliamentary inquiry, did media interviews, met ministers and MPs, handed in a petition and attended a roundtable with MPs.
This is Aneita’s story.
My name is Aneita, I am a single working parent to a six-year-old daughter. I got involved with the save the children campaign on Universal Credit and upfront childcare costs after reading about the struggles of a group of women who had started a petition. I wanted to know and be involved more so I attended an event in Manchester. The system of upfront childcare costs each month and the wait to receive up to 85% back is causing debt, not being able to work, not being able to progress, stress and a sense of failure.
I bonded with the group as we each shared our stories, our struggles and our visions for change in the future. It was here that I learned of our mission to attend Parliament.
On the 3rd July I, along with my daughter, attended the roundtable event at Parliament. I kept thinking wow me, a working-class single mum from the East End of London was sitting at this big table with MPs.
I felt pride looking around at the wonderful mums, that I now consider friends, as we eloquently shared our views, our lives, our passion. The MPs listened, they responded positively, we feel they are on board to make the changes needed to make the childcare element of Universal Credit work for all.