HC Deb 05 February 1998 vol 305 c793W
Mr. Chisholm

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimates were made for take-up of the child care disregard on family credit prior to its introduction; what percentage of family credit claimants actually receive the child care disregard; and what assessment she has made of the reasons underlying the take-up rate. [25632]

Mr. Keith Bradley

The original estimate was that, in the long term, 150,000 families would benefit from the child care disregard.

The latest figures available, as at August 1997, for Family Credit recipients with an allowed claim for child care costs are set out in the table:

Number Percentage
Number of Family Credit recipients 757,000
Number with allowed claim for help with child care 37,000 4.9
of which receiving no extra benefit 5,000 0.7
of which receiving extra benefit 32,000 4.2


Family Credit 5 per cent. sample of all awards.

It is not possible to assess the reasons underlying the level of take up as the take up estimates produced for the income-related benefits do not provide estimates of component elements such as the child care disregard.

The number of families who benefit from the child care disregard reflects the lack of affordable, quality child care. The development of a National Child Care Strategy will seek to ensure that the provision of affordable, quality child care meets the needs of parents so that they may successfully balance their family and working lives.