Up-front: a childcare deposit guarantee

Published on 30 March 2016

Summary

Childcare costs lock many single parents out of work – including up-front costs such as childcare deposits needed to hold a nursery place. This briefing outlines a proposal to support parents moving into work or increasing their hours, who need to arrange childcare ahead of their first pay cheque.

The guarantee would mean that government support (either local or central) can pay the up-front costs of a deposit directly to a provider, with the money returned once the child left. This would be an important step forward to addressing a major gap in support for childcare costs and help reduce the barriers to work for single parents.

Key findings

  • Half of single parents surveyed in London had to borrow money to cover childcare costs, from friends, family or banks
  • On average, single parents in London spend around half their disposable income on childcare
  • Thousands more single parents with pre-school childcare will need to seek work under universal credit, making accessible childcare even more important.