Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s candidate for Denton and Reddish, has welcomed the announcement of Labour’s early years policies, including a pledge to open 1,000 new Sure Start centres in England.
Sure Start centres – introduced by the last Labour Government – give help and advice on child and family health, parenting, money, training and employment. Some centres also provide early learning and full day care for pre-school children.
These centres have been shown to have had a positive impact on the life chances of the children and families who used them.
Since the Conservatives entered government in 2010, 1,000 Sure Start centres have been closed.
In addition to the Sure Start pledge, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn also outlined Labour’s plans to radically expand free childcare to 30 hours a week for all 2-4 year olds, which will save families thousands of pounds a year.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I am absolutely delighted by today’s policy announcements on early years.
“The first few years of a child’s life are vital in laying the foundations for future learning, behaviour and health, which is why the Tories’ neglect of early years has been particularly damaging for our country.
“I am particularly excited by the announcement on Sure Start centres – I have seen for myself the transformative impact that these centres have and it is disgraceful that 1,000 have been closed on the Tories’ watch.”
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“The Conservatives are failing a whole generation of children. Labour will deliver the real change Britain needs.
“Parents are struggling to afford the childcare support they need, while many children are going hungry and growing up homeless.
“Labour will open a Sure Start centre in every community and fund 30 hours’ free childcare for all two to four year olds to unlock the potential of every child.”
Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“Investment in the early years can transform the lives of children and their families across this country, just as the last Labour government transformed mine.
“The Tories have slashed funding for Sure Start leading to a loss of 1,000 centres, while their so-called free childcare offer locks out those families most in need of support.
“Labour will make high-quality early years education and access to Sure Start Plus a right for all families, in a country for the many, not the few”