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Hannah O'Neill: Expanding Free Childcare would build upon local good practice

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A Labour Government would place “free childcare” at the heart of support to parents balancing work and bringing up the kids.

This would extend 30 hours of free childcare each week to all children before they start school, regardless of family circumstances. It would end means testing and remove restrictions on parents of 3 and 4 year olds who are working.

Supporting parents to meet the high costs of childcare has been an important priority in Milton Keynes where the Labour led Council provides 17 children’s centres and three nurseries.   

In 2015 The Conservatives had promised 30 hours of childcare, but failed to provide the funding.  They also stood by and let 1240 children’s centres close across the Country. Milton Keynes Labour led Council refused to close such centres recognising their importance to young families. This reflects a survey by Mumsnet and the Resolution Foundation that shows 67% of mothers in work and 64% not working have said the  high cost of childcare is a barrier to taking on more employment.[i]  

Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Council MK Council Deputy Leader Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South said, “Labour locally has a good record on supporting parents balance work and the demands of bringing up young children. It is a long standing priority. We are proud of our record. It highlights a clear difference between a well-run Labour led Council and a Tory Government that has let parents down.”      

Cllr O’Neill added, “A Labour Government would allow us to build upon the success of childcare support locally and support the growth in childcare services across Milton Keynes.     

 Cllr O’Neill concluded, “Only Labour recognises the importance of childcare to families struggling to balance work and bringing up the children. In our young city of young people we need a Government that supports and funds childcare properly.”

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