Written Questions are submitted by MPs or Lords to receive information from a Department.
|7 May 2019, 12:59 p.m.||Universal Credit||Steve McCabe|
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that the universal credit childcare support offer does not require parents to (a) pay childcare costs upfront and (b) provide receipts.
Answer (Will Quince)
We recognise the difficulty that some claimants might have in paying upfront childcare costs. Where the initial month’s childcare costs may prevent a claimant from starting work, Jobcentres will use the Flexible Support Fund to help claimants in the first instance. This is a non-repayable award, which can be used to meet the upfront childcare costs to help support a claimant into work.
For claimants who are in work and need help with upfront childcare costs, budgeting advances are available that can be used to cover the cost of paying upfront childcare costs or a deposit.
The payment of Universal Credit Childcare costs is based on monthly reporting by the claimant of the actual childcare costs the household incurs. Claimants are required to provide a receipt of the eligible costs they have paid and these are then reimbursed within their Universal Credit award. Such monthly reporting ensures accuracy whilst reducing the levels of error and the possibility of overpayments.