Nearly half of young parents are struggling to pay for the essentials to bring up their children, according to campaigners.
Action for Children says in its report ‘The Next Chapter’ that more than 177,000 parents aged up to 25 in England are unable to cope financially.
They earn £1,300 less per year than young people who do not have children and single parents in the age group survive on even lower incomes.
But the charity says they receive little support and is calling for government to take urgent action to support young parents.
This includes extending Care to Learn programmes to all primary caregivers up to the age of 25 years, and specialist coaches in Job Centres to help young parents find work.
The charity also says the government should review its working-age benefits freeze in light of the impact on children and families.
Action for Children chief executive, Sir Tony Hawkhead, said: 'With the growing expectation that parenthood comes later in life, young parents can come up against both negative attitudes and government policy that does not meet their needs.
'Our report focuses on the estimated 177,000 young parents across England who are not getting the necessary help to support themselves or their children.'