The costs of childcare have been in the news recently- it is a big issue for many families, who have to think carefully about whether they can afford childcare when they go back to work. It is also important for children to be able to get good care and education at nursery.
Lib Dems in government have made it a priority that every child, whatever their background, should have an equal chance for the successful future they deserve. We have made sure that every 3 and 4 year old is entitled to 15 hours free childcare, as well as the 40% most deprived 2 year olds. We have also introduced extra cash for early years education for children from deprived backgrounds.
But we need to go further than this. The Lib Dems have plans to extend free childcare to all 2 year olds, and also to children between 9 months and 2 years old whose parents are in work. We plan to increase the early years 'pupil premium' from £300 to £1000 per child, boosting the help available to the children who need it most.
This will make a real difference to families who want to work but are worried about the costs of childcare. It will also help to make sure early years education is of the high quality that our children deserve.