Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th December 2020.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of childcare costs that can be claimed under universal credit.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of (a) universal credit and (b) the policy of payment of costs in arrears in helping parents meet childcare costs.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

In Universal Credit, working families can claim up to 85%, increased from 70% in legacy benefits, of their eligible registered childcare costs each month. This equates to a maximum support of £646.35 per month for one child and £1,108.04 per month for two or more children.

The current childcare offer is comprehensive, broad ranging and reflects different family circumstances, covering children over a range of ages. We believe that helping parents with their childcare costs is one of the best ways to help people into work, support families with the cost of living, and ensure every child has the opportunity of a high quality early education.

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.

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