Baby & Child Poverty: What is it and where is it increasing in the UK?

November 3, 2022 • Chris Bardsley

Child poverty is a big problem in the United Kingdom. Over four million children are living in poverty, and half of those children are under the age of five. Many families cannot afford basic necessities like food, clothes, and shelter.

The cost of living crisis is making it even harder for families to make ends meet - which can have a huge impact on children's health, education, and all-round well-being. Here at Fair for You, we’re passionate about helping low-income families with affordable and flexible loans to cover household essentials, groceries, baby equipment and much more.

Below we’ll cover some of the places where anyone experiencing difficulties, particularly those with young children, can find help.

What does child poverty look like?

Child poverty can look different in different parts of the UK. In some areas, families may struggle to afford basic items like food and clothing with key causes being high unemployment and low wages, amongst others.

The Child Poverty Action Group explains that in a typical classroom of 30 children, as many as 8 children could be living in poverty.

The CPAG go on to highlight that poverty isn’t contained to one type of family situation:

  • 49 per cent of children living in lone-parent families are in poverty.
    • Lone parents face a higher risk of poverty due to the lack of an additional earner, low rates of maintenance payments, gender inequality in employment and pay, and childcare costs.

  • Children from Black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be in poverty:
    • 46 per cent are now in poverty, compared with 26 per cent of children in white British families.

  • Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK.
    • 75 per cent of children growing up in poverty live in a household where at least one person works.

  • Children in larger families are at a far greater risk of living in poverty
    • 47 per cent of children living in families with 3 or more children live in poverty.

Although these are stark statistics, they show that if you are struggling currently, you’re not alone. Poverty can affect families in any situation and can feel extremely difficult to manage.

There is help available…

If you’re struggling right now, there is help available. You are not alone.

UK baby banks

There are more than 200 baby banks across the country with baby equipment, clothing and much more. It’s just like a food bank, only with baby essentials. Local people donate new and pre-loved items for newborns to five-year-olds and offer them to families who need urgent help. Whether you need nappies and wipes or some winter children's clothes, a baby bank can help.

They’re also a great place to meet other parents struggling with the cost of living crisis who could use a friend. Chat with the volunteers and ask if they have any parenting programmes or family support services available. A little help can go a long way for your family.

Charities and organisations

If you're facing child poverty, there are many organisations in the UK that can help. Here’s a list of just a few:

Government schemes

Head to the government website to find out which benefits and financial support is available for your family. You may be able to claim child benefits, free school meals, parents’ learning allowance and other support.

If you’re not sure where to start, contact Citizens Advice for further support on how to apply for government benefits in the UK.

Fair for You

Child poverty can vary from situation to situation - some families may struggle to afford basic items like food, some may need help with clothing. That’s where Fair for You comes in and our Food Club Card. Apply for an interest-free loan between £25 and £75 with the Fair for You Food Club Card, and if you’re successful, you could receive your card within a week*. You can use your card in-store and online at Iceland and repay just £10 per week, with top-ups available throughout the year around school holidays.

Iceland is the perfect place to shop for baby essentials - from Sudocrem and nappies to bottles and baby formula. Stock up on your baby products with our Food Club Card and spread the cost with manageable repayments. You can even grab your weekly food shop while you’re there.

And if you’re part of our Good Payers Club - you’re eligible to apply for theShopping Card. We’ve recently partnered with Chemist Direct, who could be a huge help to those with little ones. Using your Shopping Card at Chemist Direct can spread the cost of baby essentials and focus on enjoying your new arrival. Plus, you can make your repayments on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or four-weekly schedule and choose a day that works for you. Check to see if you’re eligible on our website, and if you’re successful, you will receive a preloaded card between £50 and £350 to spend at a huge range of retailers.

““The Food Club has been a massive help as we have five kids, and this way, we can buy bulk food and have a little money left over now to take them for a few day trips or holidays.””


““When it came to buying a new baby buggy, I went straight to Fair for You. The prices are sensible and easy payment make it great to use and not at all complicated.””


There's no one-size-fits-all solution to child poverty, but with the right support, families can make ends meet and give their children the best start in life.

Flexible, affordable loans for whatever life throws at you

We're on your side - whether your old washer is driving you around the bend, the little ones’ bed is on its last legs, or you need some extra food in over the school holidays.

Our loans are not charity - but we are wholly owned by one. Our profits don’t go into big corporations’ pockets - but they do go back into yours.

We should all have a choice when it comes to paying for our home essentials. Sadly, this is not the case for many people across the country, which is why we are on a mission to revolutionise credit, and the way lending is done.

*Once you have signed your Food Club Card Loan Agreement we aim to get your card delivered within 5-7 business days, but it is usually quicker than this.

No unfair hidden fees. No triple-figure interest rates. And no judgement.
This entry was posted in Finance, Health and Wellness, Budgeting Tips and Blog
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