27 June 2024

Little Village urges political parties to make tackling child poverty more of a priority

Ahead of the general election, we, as London’s biggest network of baby banks, are calling on all political parties to put the needs of babies and children living in poverty, first. And you can help. 

Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the UK has growing levels of child poverty. There are now 4.3 million children living in poverty – that is one child in every three. Of these children, half live in a family with an under five-year-old.*  

London has the highest rate of child poverty in England. A shocking 800,000 children, representing 39% of all of London’s children, are growing up in poverty in our capital city.**

One of the results of such poverty is that we are seeing more children growing up without the essential things they need including a safe space to sleep, shoes that fit or a warm coat in winter. In 2023, Little Village supported a record number of families, helping 8,529 children, but the demand for help still outstripped our capacity to respond week on week.  

Sophie Livingstone MBE, chief executive for Little Village said:

“Children are our future and at the moment that future is looking pretty bleak; we are incredibly disappointed that measures to tackle child poverty aren’t more central to party pledges. Children’s early years are vital to shaping their future and so we expect, all the political parties to invest in changing this story and act on the policies that will have a meaningful impact on child poverty now, as well as in the much longer term. 

“Demand for our help – to simply get the essentials for babies and young children – is so high that we can’t keep up. When our referral form is open, we receive a request for help every 45 seconds. This just isn’t good enough, especially for one of the world’s richest countries.” 

 Little Village General Election Asks 

We recognise It takes a village and are getting behind the policy calls of other organisations including the End Child Poverty Coalition, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Trussell Trust and the Early Education and Childcare Coalition to make some key policy calls for the next government. To end child poverty and ensure that every child has the chance to thrive, we urge the next government to: 

  1. Abolish the two-child limit…
    So that there’s money to support ALL the children in the family. 
  2. Introduce an Essentials Guarantee into Universal Credit…
    So that the basic rate will at least cover life’s essentials. 
  3. Guarantee affordable childcare…
    So that all families have access to affordable, high-quality childcare provision. 

What can you do? 

Help us to make sure politicians have the future of children firmly on their agenda. Have our policy asks in mind when answering the door to all political parties. Here are some of the questions you might like to pose: 

  • With 4.3 million children living in poverty, what measures will you take to bring this number right down and give our children a brighter and fairer future? 
  • Will you put an end to the Two Child Limit so that there’s money to support all children in a family? 
  • Currently Universal Credit falls short for far too many families. Will you introduce an Essentials Guarantee and so the basic rate will at least cover life’s essentials? 
  • Childcare is vital for the emotional and financial stability of families. How will you make sure that there is affordable childcare available to all families? 

We are a member of the End Child Poverty coalition. Via the link below you can email your candidate running for election in your constituency, tell them your local child poverty rate and call for the two-child limit to be scrapped:


*RLTV06-It-Takes-a-Village.pdf (