Childcare shake-up: Parents claiming Universal Credit to receive hundreds more - exact date they’ll get boost
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Parents claiming Universal Credit will receive hundreds of pounds more from the end of June. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced it was raising the amount parents can claim by almost 50 per cent as part of the “historic” shake-up.
The changes, which will come into force from June 28, will raise the amount that can be claimed from £646 for one child to £951, and from £1,108 for two or more children to £1,630. It was first announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in this year’s budget.
Parents will also be able to claim 85 per cent of their payments upfront rather than having to pay for childcare and then reclaim the costs as benefits. The measures form part of a wider package of childcare support designed to help parents get back to work.
Mel Stride, the work and pensions secretary, said: “These changes will help thousands of parents progress their career without compromising the quality of the care that their children receive. By helping more parents to re-enter and progress in work, we will be able to cut inactivity and help grow the economy.”
The Chancellor announced in March that he would expand the amount of money available to help parents pay for childcare by £4bn - the biggest proportion of which would be spent on increasing the number of children who qualify for free care.
Today (Wednesday, May 31) The Department for Education is launching a consultation on how to attract more people into the early years workforce while ministers are also spending money on a recruitment drive for more childminders.
Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing Claire Coutinho said: “Childcare shouldn’t be a barrier to work, but the expense has previously meant parents have had to choose between working or looking after their child. We are supporting families with the largest ever expansion of free childcare, making sure that places will be available for parents who need them.
“This will save a working parent using 30 hours a week an average of £6,500. We have already announced plans to boost the amount government pays childcare providers, and now we’re knocking down barriers to recruiting and retaining the talented staff that provide such wonderful care for our children.”