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Child poverty stats 'highlight a shocking trend of pre-school poverty'

22 March 2018 - In response to today’s release of the Government’s ‘Households below average income’ stats, Steven McIntosh, Save the Children’s Director of UK Poverty Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns said:

“Today’s figures highlight a shocking trend of pre-school poverty. Poverty rates amongst families with the youngest children have seen years of rises and remain the highest - more than 1 in 3 children in families with under-fives are now growing up on the lowest incomes. This means that the majority of children living in poverty – 2.1 million – are in families where the youngest child is under five.

“Financial hardship in a child’s early years has lifelong consequences, as children from the worst-off families are twice as likely to fall behind in their early learning and development and many never catch up.

“Parents say that childcare issues are the biggest barrier to returning to work or increasing working hours. Despite important improvements, many parents with young children in England still can’t get the support they need from a costly and confusing childcare system, trapping them in low pay, on limited hours or unable to return to work at all. To help tackle financial hardship for families with the youngest children, the Government must urgently address gaps in childcare for low-income families in England.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Today’s figures show that 2.1 million children in families where the youngest child is under the age of 5 are living in relative after housing costs poverty, out of 4.1 million children in relative after housing costs poverty altogether.
  • Poverty refers to having an income below 60% of median income after housing costs
  • Percentage of children in the UK living in relative after housing costs poverty, by age group of youngest child in the family:
 

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

0-4

30

31

31

30

33

35

35

5 to 10

26

24

25

25

25

24

26

11 to 15

25

24

25

28

27

27

26

16 to 19

24

24

26

27

27

29

29

Interviews with Save the Children’s experts in UK poverty and early years care are available. Please contact Dan Stewart on  d.stewart@savethechildren.org.uk / +44 (0)20 3763 0119 with any enquiries.

 

 

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