A child’s first few months are crucial for their development. Studies show that children from poorer backgrounds are already months behind their classmates on their first day of school.
So early years education is the best possible investment we can make in the future.
It matters for parents too. Well-paid parental leave helps parents to spend more time with their kids. Affordable and flexible childcare gives parents choice over their lives. It helps them to return to work if and when they want to, and it fights against the huge gender pay gap.
Liberal Democrats have long been fighting for a fair deal for families. We increased the number of free hours when we were in government and proposed a substantial, well-funded expansion of high-quality childcare in our 2019 manifesto.
Rishi Sunak doesn’t understand what families want. He wants to do childcare on the cheap, cutting ratios and underfunding nurseries by billions. Parents won’t thank him for more free childcare if their local nursery can’t afford to stay open.
So Liberal Democrats will fix the mess he’s created. We will pay childcare providers properly and ensure the most disadvantaged families benefit.
Plus, we’ll revolutionise parental leave, by doubling pay and helping more families, particularly dads, to take more time off to be with their children.
Today, Liberal Democrat members have backed a new policy developed by our expert working group to transform parental leave and early years education:
Childcare and Early Years Education
Parental Leave & Support
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Liberal Democrats will provide families with childcare that is flexible, affordable and fair, transform childcare and boost SEND support, to give every child the best possible start in life.