Friday, June 14, 2024

UK Labour Party Pledges 100,000 New Childcare Places

UK’s Labour party has pledged to create 100,000 additional childcare places and more than 3,000 new nurseries as part of its childcare plan.

Labour says it will turn classrooms in existing primary schools into school-based nurseries, for an estimated cost of around £40,000 per classroom.

The money would come from VAT levied on private schools, a move which has been previously criticised in the sector and by other parties.

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer said if elected, his party will create the childcare places needed to turn the page and rebuild Britain.

Read Also: DfE Says 85,000 More Free Childcare Places Needed in England

The number of nursery and primary school children in England is predicted to fall in the next four years.

Labour says it will use the space freed up in primary school buildings for the 3,334 new high quality nurseries, which would be set up in high-need areas which lack enough childcare places.

They could be run by the primary schools themselves or by local private and voluntary sector nursery providers.

The funding will come from Labour’s plan to remove what it has called unfair tax breaks from private schools.

Last year, Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said Labour’s plans to remove the tax breaks and charge private schools 20% VAT was part of a class war to punish aspirational parents.

On Sunday Labour’s shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry told Newsmen that the policy could increase class sizes in the short term.

However, her colleague, the party’s shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, said that wasn’t right and that there had been a misunderstanding.

She told Newsmen that pupil numbers were forecast to fall and that increased class sizes won’t be the outcome.

Labour said its announcement is 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.

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