A SINGLE mum has revealed how the changes to universal credit in today's Budget will be a "game-changer".

In his Spring Budget, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that parents claiming Universal Credit will have their childcare costs paid for upfront.

Mr Hunt said parents on Universal Credit receiving help with childcare costs will receive payments up front rather than having to owe the money in arrears.

This is also a win for The Sun which has been campaigning for the government to do this since December 2018.

The Sun's Make Universal Credit Work campaign has been calling for childcare support to be paid upfront and remove barriers stopping parents from getting back to work.

Currently, parents on the benefit can claim back 85% of their childcare costs, but they have to pay upfront first.

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It means mums are forced out of work as its not financially viable to stay in employment and have to fork out for childcare.

But from Summer 2023, that'll no longer be the case, and it's a win for struggling parents.

Single mum Destiny Walton, age 23, said that getting Universal Credit childcare payments upfront will be a “game-changer” and allow her to get back to work.

The mum to three-year-old Ceejay says she’s had to turn down several jobs in recent months because she wouldn’t be able to pay for childcare over the period before receiving her first pay cheque.

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Destiny, from Bournemouth, is eager to start earning again and get her career back on track but has been held back by childcare costs.

The former care worker is keen to find a job that will help her to become a nurse, but said it has been impossible because she would have to find £800 to cover nursery fees for her son Ceejay a month in advance.

She said: “This is going to be life-changing for me and my son – it’s the difference that will finally let me get back to work.

“I can't wait to get my career back on track  – I've missed doing a job that makes a difference and being able to set an example for my son.

“It’s overwhelming – I want to start working as soon as possible.”

Destiny currently gets 15 hours of free nursery hours for Ceejay, which she takes as five hours three days a week.

She hasn’t been able to find a job that fits around those hours taking into account the time it would take to travel between Ceejay’s nursery and work.

Getting £800 upfront would allow her to pay for a full-time childcare until her new salary kicks in and she can start paying for the extra hours.

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Spring Budget at a glance

  • Millions of households will save £160 after the Energy Price guarantee was extended
  • Cigarette prices will rise after the government hiked tobacco tax
  • Drivers won’t pay more for fuel as duty was frozen and a 5p cut will continue in a huge win for The Sun’s campaign to keep it low
  • The lifetime allowance on pensions will be axed and the annual allowance will increase
  • The government will give councils £500m to fix potholes
  • Millions of energy customers on prepayment meters will no longer pay more
  • Jeremy Hunt unveiled 12 low-tax investment zones across the country
  • Alcohol duty on beer in pubs will be cut, saving 11p per pint – but tax on wine and spirits will increase
  • The Chancellor confirmed that benefits will rise next month
  • Corporation tax will rise to 25% next month
  • The government will extend free childcare to 30 hours for one and two-year-olds
  • Working parents on Universal Credit will get more for childcare and costs covered straight away

What else did the Chancellor announce for parents?

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt revealed seven changes today as part of his Spring Budget.

  • the number of kids per staff member in nurseries will rise from four to five, but the changes will be optional
  • nurseries will receive more funding
  • parents on Universal Credit will have childcare costs paid by the government up front
  • the maximum amount families on Universal Credit can claim for childcare will be increased by hundreds of pounds
  • people who take a childminder job will receive £600 while agency workers who take a childminder job will receive £1,200 as part of a pilot scheme
  • schools will receive more funding to provide wraparound childcare
  • 30 hours free childcare will be extended to parents with children aged between nine months and two years old

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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