Young Parents in London: Living with Precariousness

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This research sets out to address this gap in the knowledge and to understand the experiences of parents in London aged 25 and under, specifically focusing on the challenges and opportunities London’s young parents face entering the workplace and maintaining employment.

We found that, whilst being a parent under 25 does not mean a young person and their family will inevitably live in poverty or experience financial precariousness, young parents are facing multiple complex and intersecting challenges particular to their age, location and circumstance. These challenges may impact their financial stability and security, and we shall explore these and how they can be overcome in greater detail throughout this report.

 

 

Foreword by Harriet Williams and Kevin Makwikila
Peer Researchers on the Young Parents in London project

“As young parents living and working in London it was important to take part in this research. Having a child as a young adult doesn’t mean you are any less equipped to cope with the demands of a new baby but that you may face challenges that are different from, or experienced in addition to, the ones faced by older parents.

Finding employment that fits around your childcare commitments is hard. Employers often want more work experience than you have or to hire you on low-paid work contracts with little security. Insecure work and an unstable income mean it is hard to plan childcare or budget your month’s money with any accuracy.

Housing is a real challenge for young parents in London. The cost is so high compared to our incomes and once you have paid your rent, utilities, childcare and transport there is very little, if any, left at the end of the month. It is easy to fall into debt but very difficult to get out of it.

If young parents were given education in financial skills, we would be better equipped to cope with some of the demands we face. Employers, local authorities and unions also need to do their part. We need a stable, living wage that pays us enough to live on; flexible and affordable childcare that helps us stay in work; and quality employment advice that not only helps us work but into quality jobs with good career prospects.”