Labour has announced a £1 billion investment to reverse Tory cuts to Sure Start and open 1,000 new centres in every community across England.
1,000 Sure Start centres have closed since the Tories entered government in 2010, including several in Bury which were either closed or downgraded.
Labour also outlined plans to radically expand free childcare to 30 hours a week for all 2-4 year olds, which will save families across Bury thousands of pounds a year.
New analysis by the House of Commons Library found that under the expansion of free childcare that Labour will deliver:
- The average parent of a two year old not currently eligible for childcare support would save over £5,000 a year
- Parents with children aged 2-4 who are currently only eligible for 15 hours, would save over £2,500 a year.
Labour’s expansion of 30 hours of free childcare will benefit over 5,200 2, 3 and 4 year olds in Bury by the end of the Parliament.
This comes as new analysis shows childcare costs have risen twice as fast as wages under the Tories.
Evidence suggests that early years education for children below the age of four has a positive impact on the life chances of disadvantaged children, but overall disadvantaged children spend significantly less time in pre-school than children from more affluent backgrounds. The attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged counterparts is already evident when children begin school aged 5, with a gap between them the equivalent of 4.3 months of learning. This gap more than doubles to 9.5 months at the end of primary school, and then more than doubles again to 19.3 months at the end of secondary school.
“The Conservatives are failing a whole generation of Bury’s children.
“Parents are struggling to afford the childcare support they need, while many children are going hungry and growing up homeless.
“Investment in the early years can transform the lives of children and their families across this country and if re-elected as Bury’s MP I will fight to bring back our Sure Start centres and deliver 30 hours’ free childcare for all two to four year olds to unlock the potential of every child in our town.”