Rachael Maskell and the Labour team having a campaigning picnic in Rowntree’s Park. Our mini-manifesto booklet is proving very popular with families. Particularly our pledges around childcare:
A Labour government will give 25 hours per week of free childcare to parents with 3 & 4-year-olds.
Under the Tories, there are over 40,000 fewer childcare places and 720 fewer Sure Start children’s centres, and many of those that remain have cut their hours and their services.
The cost of a nursery place has risen by 33 per cent -; part-time childcare for a family with two children now costs more than the average mortgage. Seven out of ten stay-at-home mums say that the cost of childcare has put them off looking for a job.
We will introduce a primary childcare guarantee -; a legal guarantee that parents of primary-aged children can access childcare from 8am to 6pm through their local school, helping families tackle the logistical nightmare that before- and after-school childcare can become.
We will double paid paternity leave for fathers from two to four weeks so they can spend time with their children, helping more than 400,000 families a year, and raise paternity pay by more than £100 a week to at least £260 a week -; the equivalent of the minimum wage -; so that working Dads can afford to take time off.
We will save Sure Start and tackle the shortage of childcare places by doubling the number available at Sure Start centres -; at least 50,000 more places -; and ensure Children’s Centres are properly used rather than being mothballed.