Gingerbread has launched Caring without Sharing, a report looking at the unique challenges faced by working single parents as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – including a lack of affordable childcare.
The report makes reference to childcare and its availability during both lockdowns as well as referencing closures due to positive cases as well as for financial reasons. It makes a number of recommendations in relation to childcare:
- The government should create a childcare infrastructure support fund to help stabilise the childcare market and prevent providers from closing.
- The government should roll out a national childcare deposit fund to help parents meet any upfront costs of childcare when they enter work, building on the scheme developed by Gingerbread in partnership with the Greater London Authority. This should be universally available and paid from a specific fund rather than being drawn on a discretionary basis from the Flexible Support Fund.
- The DfE should review the childcare caps that were set in 2003, which do not deliver the promised childcare support of up to 85 per cent under UC.
- The Department for Work and Pensions should act on the High Court ruling in January 2021 to change the payment structure under UC so that childcare costs are made upfront, rather than in arrears.
Full report available via Website Link