Citizens Advice response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry on Universal Credit and childcare costs
The availability and cost of childcare is a significant deciding factor for parents when assessing the costs and benefits of entering work or working more hours. Financial support with childcare costs is available under Universal Credit but families are required to pay for childcare upfront and reclaim up to 85% of these costs around a month later.
The need to pay for childcare costs upfront and reclaim them from Universal Credit at a later date is causing significant financial difficulties for many parents, and is acting as a real barrier for many more parents to enter employment or remain and progress in work. To address this problem fundamental change to the current system is needed.