Hey everyone, I’m a lone mama of a two year old and am on universal credit. I got a letter from my council about free childcare but my question is that universal credit rules as I understand is that I won’t be sent to work until my child is 3. So if I used childcare, would the UC make me start working now? I’m just worried because I don’t think my daughter can handle separation from me yet. We still breastfeed and she is basically stuck to me all day long. It’s tiring and hard as I’m sure you all know. It would be nice to get a short break tbh or to have driving lessons for example but I don’t understand what using childcare would mean for my UC.
Right now you would be in the work preparation group with your two year old, in that they will be trying to support you to get work ready. They won’t force you to start working.
As you rightly said once your child is 3 they will expect you to start working but if you have responsibilities such as caring (which you do with your child) they need to be reasonable with their expectations from you.
Using the funded hours for childcare I don’t believe means anything for your UC. However if you want to claim 85% of your childcare costs (up to £646 or something for one child) you need to be working some hours a week the actual amount doesn’t matter.
I have a 3 year old and work but when I started my “Work prep” I told the work coach I can’t work if the working hours aren’t suitable with childcare nursing hours. – I was glad to just start the full time hours as having her nagging me was more of a pain than what it’s worth.
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