To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support single parents to (a) stay in work, (b) return to work and (c) retrain.
We are committed to helping parents into work. Childcare is essential in enabling parents to work, although we recognise that this can cause additional financial difficulty. Universal Credit claimants are able to claim up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, compared to 70 per cent on the legacy system. Work allowances for working parents and people with disabilities were increased by £1000 from April 2019. 2.4 million households will be up to £630 better off (per year), in a package worth £1.7bn by 2023/24.
Universal Credit Work Coaches have flexibility and autonomy to build individual support packages to help the individual into work and help those with low incomes. Work Coaches utilise additional packages to support individuals such as Self-Employment, New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) and funding from the Flexible Support Fund to help individuals overcome their barriers to enter employment.
The UC childcare policy aligns with the wider government childcare offer, which includes 15 hours per week free childcare for disadvantaged 2 year olds and 3 & 4 year olds. This doubles to 30 hours per week free childcare for working parents of 3 & 4 year olds.