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Stephen Morgan welcomes plan to create 3,000 new school-based nurseries to transform life chances and deliver for working parents with more childcare places

By 10 June 2024No Comments
Image from Stephen Morgan

Labour candidate for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan has welcomed plans which will make high quality childcare available to more families in Portsmouth and across the country by creating over 3,000 new school-based nurseries based in primary schools. 

Labour will use spare capacity within primary schools, growing across the country due to falling birth rates, to provide more on-site nurseries as part of its plans to drive high and rising standards in early years.

The party has said the move represented the next stage in its long-term plan to deliver a modern childcare system that better supports parents from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school. 

The move follows the Party pushing through an amendment to the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act to enable local councils to deliver new childcare provision for their communities.

The expansion will see Labour create 3,300 high quality nurseries from converted classrooms, which the Party says will help deliver both the immediate demand for childcare in under-served areas, and anticipated additional demand from the expansion of government-funded childcare entitlements announced in the 2023 Budget which Labour is committed to delivering on.

These conversions will be paid for by revenue raised from ending tax breaks for private schools.

Labour has made improving childcare for working families a key priority, with Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson already announcing the Party’s plans to deliver breakfast clubs in every primary school in England as part of a modern childcare system from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school. 

Labour’s plans will give children a better start to life, helping to prepare them for school. It will improve both the availability and quality of childcare for families in areas with severe shortages of available places, or childcare “deserts”, enabling more parents to work. The Party will also strengthen childcare regulation, working with Ofsted to ensure that the money government is spending on childcare is driving the best outcomes for children and families.

In England there are currently two children for every childcare place. Labour said it would target its new school nursery places at areas of highest need, where parents simply cannot find local childcare places for their kids.

The party said that nurseries could be run by the schools themselves or local private or voluntary sector nursery providers. School-based nursery provision is popular with parents, especially families with multiple children, provides high quality education and sees lower turnover of staff than private nursery providers.

Labour candidate for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan said:

“After 14 years under the Tories, too many children in Portsmouth and across the country aren’t getting the best start in life and too many parents remain unable to pursue their careers.

“That’s why Labour has made improving childcare for working families a key priority.

“Alongside delivering breakfast clubs in every primary school, Labour will make high quality childcare available to more families by creating over 3,000 new school-based nurseries, helping children in Portsmouth thrive.”

Bridget Phillipson, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“Families up and down the country are yearning for high quality early years education but they are stuck on waiting lists, left paying over the odds for childcare and failing to secure the places and free hours they were pledged by the Tories, let down time and again by a Conservative government that makes promises that it cannot deliver. 

“They look to a changed Labour to deliver better life chances for their children and better choices for them in the workplace. The Tories have broken childcare, so Labour will fix it. 

“The evidence is clear: school-based nurseries deliver high quality education which enables children to achieve and thrive when they at primary school. 

“The 3300 new nurseries we announce today will be key to delivering Labour’s mission for half a million more children to hit the early learning goals by 2030, giving them the firm foundations from which to succeed. 

“Labour is the only party with a plan to deliver what parents needs from our early years system and the only party of high and rising standards in education.”