Labour has said that more than a million families will benefit its pledge to overhaul “patchy” childcare provision as it sought focus on its manifesto plans to roll out free care to all two to four-year-olds.
Following the live TV grilling of Monday of the two main party leaders, Jeremy Corbyn will say a Labour government would be committed to ensuring every child was given a good start in life.
The Labour leader has put the creation of a “national education service” at the heart of his party's election campaign, which would extend 30 hours of free childcare each week to all children before they start school, regardless of family circumstances.
The policy would benefit more than 1.3 million children as complex rules mean only 40% of two-year-olds qualify while many working parents with three and four-year-old children are missing out, according to Labour.
Mr Corbyn said: “The Labour party believes every child, no matter what their background, deserves a good start in life, and that childcare costs shouldn't be a barrier for parents who want to go back to work.
“The current patchy support for childcare is holding back too many families.
“High-quality childcare can transform a child's life chances and make it much easier for parents to work.”
Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said too many parents had been let down by Tory promises to boost care in the last general election.
She added: “Unlike the Conservatives, Labour will properly fund childcare to help parents get back into work and ensure all children, no matter what their background, have access to the high-quality childcare they deserve.”
Labour has been making gains in the polls as the election campaign enters its final stages, with a number of surveys reducing the Tory lead single figures.
Copyright Press Association