Extra childcare support pledged by Labour and Lib Dems

Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have pledged extra money to support the parents of young children.

As part of their election pledges, Labour has vowed to spend £1 billion on opening 1,000 new early years centres in England, with the aim of getting parents back to work and helping children achieve, while the Liberal Democrats are promising working families subsidised care for children from the age of nine months.

Promising £14.6 billion to invest ‘in the country's future’, childcare providers have expressed scepticism at the lack of funding details given by Jo Swinson’s party, and have instead warned of an ‘electoral arms race’ on childcare promises.

Meanwhile, Labour has promised to open a new generation of Sure Start centres, which provide health, welfare and education services for pre-school children. Up to 1,000 Sure Start centres have closed in the past decade, with funding pressures being blamed. Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said that her party will ‘reverse the cuts’ in the centres which were originally launched when Tony Blair was Prime Minister.