Bradford MP, David Ward was today joined by Baroness Kath Pinnock to highlight Liberal Democrat achievements in Government in supporting Bradford families with the cost of childcare with the promise of much more if they are part of the next Government.
David Ward and Baroness Kath Pinnock of Cleckheaton visited the fantastic facilities at the Woodlands Nursery & Pre-School in Apperley Bridge, Bradford, to highlight the policies that the Liberal Democrats in Government have introduced to help Bradford families with the costs of childcare. They were also joined by Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, Bradford’s Lib Dem Group Leader and local Ward Councillor.
Woodlands Nursery was opened in May 2014 following the £350,000 renovation of the former Knoll Nursing home site which became notorious as a magnet for arsonists and thieves. The nursery created 30 new jobs and has capacity for 80 children up to the age of five, as well as a school holiday club for children aged between four and eight.
Whilst in Government the Liberal Democrats have:
•Increased free childcare to 15hours each week for all 3 and 4 year olds (up from 12.5hrs under Labour) and 40% of all 2 year olds. This has benefited 5,200 families in Bradford East and 19,500 families across Bradford.
•Lib Dems have protected the Schools budget meaning that Government funding to nurseries in Bradford has been protected.
•Introduced the Early Years Pupil Premium which provides £300 for extra early years support to 2,600 children in Bradford. This totals £760,000 each year to help promote the development of some our most disadvantaged children.
•From Autumn 2015 the Government will extend tax breaks on childcare to 20% – that’s a tax break on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year for each child. That’s a saving of up to £2,000 for every child for 3,400 working families in Bradford East & 17,970 working families in Bradford
•In 2013, the Government provided £1,766,000 to create over 900 new nursery places across Bradford. The total cost was £1.9m with the Council making up the difference.
For many parents, childcare had become so expensive that was cheaper for them to give up their job and look after the children instead. That’s why Liberal Democrats have put more money into childcare and early years education than ever before, saving parents thousands of pounds and making it easier for millions of families to get on.
However to ensure that every child in Bradford is given a fair start in life whilst helping hard working parents balance childcare with work and cutting the cost of living, the Liberal Democrats want to go much further. If we are part of the next Government we will:
•Aim to make 20hrs free childcare every week for all 2-4 year olds by 2020
•20hours free childcare for all working parents by 2020. (9months – 2 years)
•Start by giving 15hours free for all 2 year olds by cancelling Tory marriage allowance then priorities 15hrs free for working parents (9months – 2 year olds).
•Raise Early Years Pupil Premium from £300 to £1000.
•Protect Schools Budget in Real Terms
•Protect and if possible increase the Primary & Secondary Pupil Premium in Real Terms and consider the case for extending the Pupil Premium.
Commenting David Ward MP said:
“Getting a good start in life is so important and that’s why as a Liberal Democrat, I’m very proud of our achievements in Government in providing more free childcare and more help with the costs of childcare than Labour ever did in their 13 years of Government.
“Whilst we have provided extra support to thousands of hard-working families in my constituency and across Bradford, we need to go further.
“That’s why a Government with the Liberal Democrats in it will extend tax breaks in childcare and seek to provide 20 hours free childcare to working parents in Bradford from the end of maternity to starting school. By re-electing me in May, I will help cut living costs by delivering even more childcare support to thousands of parents in Bradford”.
Baroness Kath Pinnock added:
“David and his team in Bradford have done a superb job in helping to deliver more childcare support to thousands of families across Bradford East.
“With facilities like Woodlands Nursery and extra funding from the Government, it’s great to see Liberal Democrat policies really making a difference to families in Bradford. If you re-elect David in May, we can expect even more support with childcare for Bradford’s hard working families.”