Jump to content

Child poverty

Child poverty

Addressing child poverty is a vital element in helping children achieve success. Living in poverty is more than just having a low income; research has shown that poverty affects children’s health, safety and their ability to reach their full potential.

In May 2010, the Child Poverty Act was introduced. The Act requires the government to meet four targets by 2020 and produce child poverty strategies through to 2020, setting out what action is needed to meet the targets. Local authorities and their partners also have a duty to co-operate to tackle child poverty in their area.


Below are some useful links to resources on tackling child poverty.

  • Child poverty
    Access information produced by the Child Poverty Unit (CPU), including news and more details about the Child Poverty Act.
  • A new approach to child poverty: tackling the causes of disadvantage and transforming families’ lives
    On 6 April 2011 the government published its new strategy setting out its approach to tackling poverty for this parliament and up to 2020. At its heart are strengthening families, encouraging responsibility, promoting work, guaranteeing fairness and providing support to the most vulnerable. This strategy meets the requirements set out in the Child Poverty Act 2010, focuses on improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged children, and sits alongside the government’s broader strategy to improve social mobility.
  • Opening doors, breaking barriers: a strategy for social mobility
    On 6 April 2011 the Cabinet Office published the government’s new social mobility strategy. The new strategy aims to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. The social mobility strategy – Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers – focuses on inter-generational social mobility, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to get a better job than their parents. It aims to tackle unfairness at every stage of life with specific measures to improve social mobility from the foundation years to school and adulthood.
  • C4EO's child poverty interactive e-learning resource
    Comprehensive resource looking at why this issue is important, the evidence to date and practical advice.
  • Child poverty: children's centre leaders' event
    Video highlights and summary report from a National College event held for children's centre leaders and directors of local authorities.
  • Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission
    Promotes parental responsibility to financially support children
  • Report: Child well-being in the UK, Spain and Sweden
    In 2007, UNICEF's Report Card 7: An overview of child well-being in rich countries, put the issue of child well-being firmly on the UK's political agenda. When compared with 20 other OECD countries, including substantially poorer ones, the UK was at the bottom of the league table of child well-being. Subsequent report cards have shown that inequality among children in the UK is greater than in other countries. UNICEF UK commissioned Ipsos MORI and Dr Agnes Nairn to explore some of the reasons behind these statistics by comparing children's experiences in the UK with those of children in Spain and Sweden.
Help desk

The help desk is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm GMT, excluding UK bank holidays.

0345 609 0009 (UK)
+44 1349 882095 (International)


You can also get in touch using our enquiry form.

The current UK government took office on 11 May 2010. Some of the content on this site may reflect policies of the previous government.

All statutory information and guidance published on this website continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.