The Welfare Reform and Work Bill must not ignore children’s early years’ development.

The Welfare Reform and Work Bill amends the Child Poverty Act 2010 and introduces changes to welfare benefits.

The Child Poverty Act 2010 made eradicating child poverty by 2020 a legal commitment for government and set clear targets for progress. The Government is now changing how child poverty is measured. Poverty will no longer be determined by family income and instead will be related to children’s ‘life chances’. This will be measured by the number of children living in workless households and GCSE results.

We are working with members in the House of Lords to campaign for early support that will improve children’s life chances.

I agree with…Action for Children that the Government’s limited measures are a missed opportunity. Educational attainment at 16 does not reflect how far development in the earlier stages of our lives affects our future, from our health to our likelihood of being employed.
Baroness Manzoor, Welfare Reform Bill debate, 7 December 2015

This Bill is a chance to set our sights on children’s futures at the earliest opportunity. Life chances are influenced by more than our schooling, but achieving in school is harder for children if they haven’t had the best start in life.

As the Bill continues to be debated in the House of Lords, we are working hard to make sure our changes are supported by Peers from all the political parties.

Read our joint briefing with the National Children’s Bureau to see the evidence for why support in the earliest years of our lives makes the difference to living happy and independent adult lives.

Money matters

We agree that poverty is more complicated than just the amount of money coming into the home, but we believe that it is a vital part of the picture. We are part of the End Child Poverty coalition, calling for family income to be measured as part of child poverty and the work to improve Life Chances. Find out about our work with the coalition here.

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