Cuts to young parent help opposed

young mum and child

young mum and childAny reduction on your income can be a disaster - suddenly the pressure is on, budgets are scuppered and sacrifices have to be made.

So it's easy to imagine how young parents feel about the news they might not be entitled to support with childcare costs.

The Government is reducing the Care to Learn programme, which allows parents under the age of 20 to apply for up to £160 a week (or £175 in London) to help pay for childcare while they are in education or training.

Under the changes, only parents age 18 or under will be entitled to the support. Parents over 19 would instead have to apply for discretionary funding to help with childcare costs.

Charities fear this will make it harder for young parents to continue in education or take up training.

And we all know that having a focus is vital for parents - without work parents will struggle to put food on the table, and learning new skills can help them get a better job, and inspire children to work hard too.

Sian Nisbett, who runs Dizzy Ducks Day Nurseries, a group of four nurseries in Essex, told Nursery World: "Why make it harder for these young parents than it already is?

"Engaging them in college courses and helping out with their childcare costs not only reduces the chances that they will end up on benefits and unemployed, but in turn increases their child's life chances and economic outcomes too.

"We have lots of Care to Learn placements at nursery and the proposals would destroy these young parents' life chances."

Charities opposing the cuts have written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him to rethink the plan.

The letter has been signed by The Daycare Trust, the National Union of Students, Platform 51,the Fawcett Society and others.

The Government says they are reducing the scheme to compensate for the increased costs it expects when the school leaving age rises to 17 in 2013.

It's worth understanding benefits to see if there's any other help you can get. Why not check them out here?