On the Andrew Marr Show yesterday morning, (Sunday), Tristram Hunt announced that the Sure Start programme, widely regarded as a Labour success, would be boosted by an additional 50,000 places after the election. When pressed by the host as to the funding of these sorely needed places, Tristram said that the education department would require local authorities to open the doors of currently mothballed buildings and that charities or private companies would fund the actual provision. He also told Andrew Marr about Labour’s plans to improve “wrap-around childcare” by opening up breakfast clubs and after-school clubs to charities and private childcare providers.
In response, Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said: “There is a well-recognised shortage of high quality childcare places in areas of disadvantage which children’s centres are clearly able to respond to.
“We urge local authorities to examine the potential for more childcare places in children’s centres and work with partners to deliver them.”
You can read an account of this story on the BBC website.