Nearly 45% of children in my Birmingham, Hall Green constituency live in relative poverty—more than double the national average. An area of Sparkbrook in my constituency has the highest rate in the region, a staggering 67%. Many of these children come from families that are not in work, and other families rely on universal credit.
Given the cost of living crisis, stagnant wages and the cut to universal credit, this situation is bound to worsen significantly. Does the Minister agree that the Government’s current offer is not good enough for the 67% of children living in poverty? Is it not time for the Government to seriously consider expanding eligibility for free childcare, as well as increasing the total amount of free childcare available to families?