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Why we're needed

One third of all children under five in the UK are living in poverty.

At Little Village, we believe in every child’s right to a good childhood, and the desire all parents have to give their children the best possible start in life. Unfortunately, through our work we see the challenges and systemic constraints trapping families in poverty, which are being made worse by the pandemic.

Why do families get referred to Little Village?

There are a wide range of reasons for families being referred to Litle Village. In 2020:

  • 31% of families were specifically referred due to Covid-related economic hardship or unemployment
  • 33% of families were homeless or living in temporary accommodation 
  • 11% of families were dealing with domestic abuse
  • 46% of families were lone parents
  • 24% of families had no recourse to public funds and 17% were seeking asylum 
  • 6% of families had a disabled family member

It takes a village: how to make all childhoods matter

In partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we published a report in February 2021 which details the extent of child poverty in the UK and what needs to change. Unfortunately, rates of child poverty are unacceptably high and rising: there are 1.3 million children under the age across the UK living in poverty.

In it we revealed that for families with at least one child under 5:

  • A third (34%) of children in these families now live in poverty.
  • Two in five of these families (38%) have seen a reduction in their earnings as a result of the pandemic
  • London has the highest rates of poverty for children in these households (43%)
  • Households where there is a child under the age of 3 face the highest risk of poverty
  • Poverty has risen faster in the last decade for children in these families than for families with older children
  • In addition, a quarter of all babies and toddlers currently experiencing poverty are deep in poverty (in other words living below 50% of the poverty line). In real terms this means families are facing impossible choices between heating, food and rent.

Some households with young children are at a much higher risk of poverty:

  • 56% of children in lone parent families,
  • 53% of children in Black and Minority Ethnic families,
  • 52% of children whose parents are aged under 25,
  • 46% of children in families with three or more children,
  • 41% of children who are disabled or have a disabled family member.