It’s easy to mistakenly think that headlines such as “4.5 million children living in poverty” and “lowest literacy rates in the developed world” can’t possibly be in relation to the UK but THEY ARE!
I am a mother to a bright, beautiful and curious 2-year-old little boy. He can count to 10, he knows his letters of the alphabet, his colours and animals (especially cats – his favourite!) His is a face among the millions of children, just like him, that the UK is failing every single day, simply because of the circumstances he was born into that are beyond his control.
I want to return to work and he needs and deserves to go to nursery like his peers and counterparts. But it isn’t always workable.
With the introduction and roll out of Universal Credit, millions of families like ours are in this no-win position. For me to return to work full time, the cost of childcare is £1,500 a month. Even on a salary of £32,000 a year, after paying for childcare and other essential outgoings of rent and council tax we would be left with only £60 a month to live on. That’s £2 a day.
Having recently missed out on my dream job offer, because we COULD NOT make childcare work, I know that policy and reality are often very different. When I did a better off calculation now that Universal Credit is active in my area, we will be significantly WORSE OFF, especially as a disabled single mother. I will have to pay for childcare upfront and wait weeks (or even months) to get some of the costs reimbursed.
Having written to Esther McVey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and Mike Freer MP for Finchley and Golders Green to show them that WE ARE the TRUE face of child poverty and failing welfare reforms, I am now on a mission!
My little boy has no voice in this debate. Yet arguably he pays the heaviest price of Universal Credit and welfare reforms. That’s why I’m a #MumOnAMission to make childcare work with your help. I’m calling on the government to make childcare more affordable for parents on low incomes.
By signing and sharing our petition and sharing your story “We Can Do It!” and ensure this issue can no longer be ignored and urge parliament to make amendments to childcare through Universal Credit before it’s too late for a whole generation of our children.
Thuto & Kayan