LABOUR leader Ed Miliband detailed a free childcare policy on a visit to Ravensthorpe yesterday (Thur).
He said the party will extend the existing system to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four-year-olds.
Doncaster North MP Mr Miliband met staff, parents and children on a visit to Ravensthorpe Community Childcare.
Based at the community centre on Garden Street, the nursery was rated as ‘outstanding’ when last inspected by Ofsted in 2011.
Labour’s multi-million pound national initiative would be paid for by increasing the levy on bank profits.
He claimed it would help 135,000 parents and more than 436,000 three-and-four-year-olds across the country. Childcare places would be delivered by both private nurseries and SureStart Centres and benefits would include:
• Tackling the rising cost of childcare;
• Cutting the welfare bill and boost the economy by helping parents into work;
• Further boosting the economy by enabling nurseries to expand.
Mr Miliband added: “Since 2010 the cost of childcare in Yorkshire has risen five times faster than wages. This makes our pledge a key part of the way in which we’ll tackle the cost of living crisis.”
He was in Ravensthorpe as parties nationally get into general election mode for a poll expected next May.
Paula Sherriff, Labour’s candidate for Dewsbury and Mirfield, was with Mr Miliband on his visit.
He said of her campaign to unseat incumbent Tory Simon Reevell: “I think she’s doing a fantastic job.
“Paula works in the health service and has campaigned to protect services at the hospital.
“She’d be quite a contrast to the current ‘part-time’ MP, who doesn’t seem to represent people’s views perhaps as well as he should.”