What happens when the crippling costs of childcare negate the financial benefits of working?
This episode explores life on the edge of the poverty line for working single parents and their children.
Nine-year-old Reece Armstrong and his parents are about to move into their new home, which has a cinema and a pool room. His dad Glenn has a property portfolio of nearly 200 houses, and his mum, Mandie, runs a successful ironing business.
They admit to spoiling Reece a little, but think he deserves it: he has to take medication and painful injections every day because of ill health and a growth impediment.
But they want to make sure he doesn't grow up taking his lifestyle for granted.
Life in South London is very different for 13-year-old Miguell. He shares a cramped, two-bedroom flat with his 14-year-old brother Micah, his mum Marie, and his little sisters Crystal and Shekaria.
Miguell dreams of becoming a footballer, and Micah of training as a chef, but these are hard goals to achieve on their estate. Mum Marie goes out to work, clocking up 25 hours a week at a local adventure playground, and taking whatever overtime is on offer.
She has to work part-time because she couldn't afford the childcare rates if she went full-time, but the amount of money she spends on childcare and rent means she would almost be better off being unemployed.
Can Glenn and Mandy help the boys to realise their dreams, and improve the family's living conditions? Will they all discover family bonds mean more than money? And can the Armstrongs help Marie appreciate what a good mother she is already?Watch now on 4oD
|Thursday 27 May 2010||Channel 4|
|Monday 27 September 2010||10.05PM||More4|