After considerable pressure from anti-poverty campaigners, the government has announced it is introducing childcare support for low-income working families.
But the wider drift of the coalition administration's policies is still making conditions worse for the most vulnerable people in society, say critics.
Ellen Broome, The Children’s Society’s policy director, commented on the latest development: “The government’s announcement that low-income working families will get vital help with childcare for their two year olds is very welcome.
"This move will help give parents the support they need to move into work or take on more hours and move their families out of poverty.
“The vast majority of children living in poverty – six in 10 – are in low-income working families. Families where parents are struggling to make ends meet and having to make harsh choices between putting food on the table or buy new school uniforms.
“By making it possible for these families to get help with childcare, the government is making a big step towards ensuring work pays,” she said.
Nevertheless, some 3.5 million children in the United Kingdom are living in officially defined poverty.
Two-thirds of children now living in poverty are in working families – a quarter of a million more compared to 15 years ago.