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Children: Day Care

Question for Treasury

UIN 272776, tabled on 3 July 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the potential merits of the Government providing upfront financial support for childcare to parents claiming universal credit.

Answered on

8 July 2019

The Chancellor has regular discussions with his Cabinet colleagues on a range of topics.

The government is committed to helping parents into work, and recognises that childcare costs can affect their decisions to take up work or increase their hours. That is why we are spending almost £6 billion in 2019-20 on childcare.

Universal Credit claimants are able to claim up to 85% of their childcare costs, compared to 70% under the legacy benefit system. This can be claimed up to a month before starting a job, and is worth up to £13,000 a year for a family with two children. Where claimants face difficulty in paying their costs upfront, Jobcentres will use the Flexible Support Fund, which is a non-repayable award. Budgeting advances are also available for those already in work.

Answered by

Treasury