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Labour pledges 100,000 nursery places and to save families £400 a year – LabourList


Labour is vowing to create more than 100,000 new nursery places for children from nine months old as part of its general election manifesto.

The party will support primary schools to launch more than 3,300 new nurseries, according to plans shared with The Guardian on Sunday.

Starmer told the paper: “It’s very good for children to be at nursery, particularly our plan to have them in a school environment. Many schools will say when they get to reception many children don’t have the skills that they need to start learning straight away.”

The party adds on its website: “Labour’s plan has been built by learning from how childcare works the world over, from Ireland to Australia. It stretches from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school, because every parent knows that childcare costs don’t end when children start school.

“Spare school classrooms will be converted into high quality spaces for nurseries, paid for by ending the tax breaks private schools enjoy. ”

The party also said on Sunday its existing plans for primary school breakfast clubs would save families around £400 a year.

The party predicts that it could save some families as much as £50 a week, or £2000 per school year, by cutting the need for pre-school childminding.

In addition to financial savings, Labour has argued that the plan will slash school absences by as much as half a million days.

Speaking about the figures, Bridget Phillipson said: “Families’ childcare needs don’t end when their kids leave nursery: that’s why we’ll put free breakfast clubs in every English primary school.”

The Shadow Education Secretary continued: “We’ll fund our clubs by clamping down on tax dodgers and save hardworking parents over £400 every year.

“Breakfast clubs are proven to improve kids’ behaviour and grades, and get those regularly missing class back into school – giving them a great start to their day and getting them ready to learn.”

Labour made the commitment to introduce free breakfast clubs for primary school children in England at party conference 2022.

Making the announcement, Phillipson said that they “drive up standards and achievement” and “improve behaviour and attendance”.

She said the clubs would be the “first step” on the road to a “modern childcare system” that “supports families from the end of parental leave, right through to the end of primary school”.

Labour has faced calls from the National Education Union and other organisations to adopt a broader universal free school meals for primary schools, as opposed to the targeted breakfast provision the party is advocating for.

Universal free school meal programmes have been introduced by both the Labour administration in Wales and London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

 

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