TAX CREDITS AND EARLY YEARS BULLETIN
IN THIS ISSUE
Our new training programme for 2018/19 is available here. We are running the following courses which are particularly relevant to early years workers:
Find out more and book a place here
We have updated and are printing the following factsheets which are available to download from our website. We will be posting printed copies out to those on our mailing list very soon. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive printed copies please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAVE THE CHILDREN CHILDCARE SURVEY
Save the Children are currently running a campaign called Make Childcare Work that is all about fixing problems with how childcare support through Universal Credit works to make the system work better for families.
To help inform the campaign, they are looking to speak to families who have experienced difficulties with the childcare element of Universal Credit e.g. who are concerned about what’s on offer, struggling with upfront costs or worried about how to afford them.
If you know of any families, there is a short survey that families receiving childcare support through Universal Credit can fill in here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PYMZG3M
GINGERBREAD REPORT ON UNIVERSAL CREDIT
Gingerbread, the charity for single parent families, has published a report on Universal Credit, informed by interviews with single parents. It found that universal credit is failing to meet the Government’s objectives of a simplified benefits system and supporting families into work. Recommendations include:
- Jobcentres to support parents with the upfront costs of childcare through an Upfront guarantee paid directly to the provide
- Reverse cuts to the work allowances under UC
- Suspend new job-seeking requirements for parents of three and four year olds, until affordable and good quality childcare and flexible work is available locally
- Provide mechanism to pay registered childcare providers directly (similar to tax-free childcare) reducing administrative burden
Read the report in full
Q & A: TWO CHILD LIMIT AND KINSHIP CARERS
Q: Following the high court judgment last month which found the two child limit was unlawful in how it affects kinship carers, what should clients do who are in the same situation? My client has one older child of her own, a child who she started looking after as a kinship carer five years ago, and had a new baby of her own in July 2017.
A: The ruling, as explained in our April e-bulletin, directly affects kinship carers with two or more children, who had a baby of their own since 6 April 2017, for whom a child element was not payable because of the ordering of children rule for the two child limit. In a Written Statement to Parliament, the government said that it accepts the judgment and will extend it to children who are adopted, as well as in kinship care arrangements. The exception will apply regardless of when the child joined the household. This means that children in non-parental caring arrangements who would otherwise be in local authority care, or who have been adopted in the UK, are not counted for the purpose of the two child limit. We are still waiting for further details of how the government intends to identify and support claimants who have been affected. will be applied regardless of the order in which they joined a householdthese exceptions will be applied regardless of the order in which they joined a householdthese exceptions will be applied regardless of the order in which they joined a household
Your client can request a mandatory reconsideration of the in-year decision that a child element was not payable, as long as she notified the birth and was given a decision at the time, but needs to give reasons why the request is late. However, she will soon also get a final decision for 2017/18, which should be made according to the law and facts before the decision maker, so the child element should be included. If the child element is still missing, she has a new right of mandatory reconsideration. The final decision cancels out the in-year decisions and any appeal lapses so it is vital that she requests a mandatory reconsideration against the final decision, and appeals if necessary.
See this article for more on the Two-child limit.
WELFARE RIGHTS CONFERENCE
Just announced to join the panel at the afternoon plenary session of our annual welfare rights conference on Friday 22 June in Glasgow, is Nora Uhrig from Equality and Human Rights Commission. This session will be chaired by Ken MacDonald, BBC Scotland's Special Correspondent and will discuss; 'Social security: a human rights being realised or under threat?'. If you would like to attend the conference, visit our website to book.