According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party have achieved the following in their time in power:
Labour wants to make this country the best place for children and young people to grow up in. We are committed to supporting all families, whatever their shape or size, and giving every child the chance to unlock their talent. Labour has radically transformed early years provision. In 1997 there were no free guaranteed nursery places or Sure Start Children’s centres. Today, there are nearly 3,000 Sure Start Children’s centres providing childcare, healthcare, early education and family support to more than two million children and their families.
* Labour has undertaken the biggest expansion in early years education since 1945; investing £25 billion since 1997.
* Every three and four year old has the right to a free nursery place, which we will extend from 12.5 hours a week to 15 hours by next year.
* Since 1997, the number of registered childcare places is up by around 644,000 from a place for one in eight children to one in four children.
* Opened 3,000 Sure Start Children’s centres, reaching two million children and their families.
* Labour has expanded nationally the Bookstart scheme which gives every one and two year old a satchel of books and every three and four year old a ‘treasure chest’ of books and crayons.
New Labour, your Britain:
* By next year there will be 3,500 Children’s Centres, one in every community in England.
* We will provide two additional outreach workers to support families at each Sure Start Children’s centre in the 1,500 most disadvantaged areas.
* Labour will provide nursery places for 20,000 two year olds in the most deprived areas over the next three years.
* To help parents improve their children’s school attendance and behaviour, we will expand school-based Parent Support Advisers and we will fund two parenting advisers in every local authority over the next three years.
* Our £73 million ‘Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work’ programme will help low income families across the country to get free childcare so they can access training and return to work
* By 2010/11, Labour will offer every local authority funding to rebuild or renew 3,500 playgrounds nationally and make them accessible to children with disabilities. We will also create 30 new adventure playgrounds for 8 to 13 year-olds in disadvantaged areas, supervised by trained staff.
Labour Party Early Years Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/early_years
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Early Years policies in the comments below?