Last reviewed 7 May 2021

Labour has announced a programme of early years events as part of a “big conversation” to talk to providers and families about the importance of childcare and early education.

The events form part of Labour’s Bright Future Taskforce plans, launched by the shadow education secretary in March, to develop a national strategy for children’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Labour has highlighted recent data on local authority and school spending that reveal government spending on Sure Start centres and children under five has been cut by 40% since 2015. Labour analysis of government figures also shows that 12,000 early education and childcare providers have already closed since 2015 and a further 30,000 are at risk of closure within the next year. The party says that because millions of families, and particularly mothers, rely on formal childcare in order to work, this could mean that 345,000 women would be at risk of losing their jobs.

Kate Green MP, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said:

“The Conservatives have treated children as an afterthought throughout this pandemic, with no plan to protect early years providers nor support the families who rely on their vital services.”

“Labour wants to see children at the heart of our national recovery.”

“Through engagement with parents, providers, children and experts our Bright Future Taskforce will develop a national strategy to ensure every child can recover the learning and social development lost during the pandemic and has the chance to reach their full potential.”