Labour announces universal breakfast club plan for England

Labour has announced plans for every child in England to have access to a fully funded breakfast club at the party’s conference today.

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Labour has announced that if it is elected it would push through plans for fully funded breakfast clubs for every primary school in England which would be paid for by restoring the top rate of income tax to 45p.

New data from Labour suggests at least 800,000 primary schoolchildren in England do not have access to breakfast clubs and those who could access it face barriers due to costs and limits on numbers who can attend.

The Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham welcomed the plans for universal breakfast clubs and said ‘universal before-and after-school activities for kids of all ages would make a crucial difference’ to struggling families.

Neil Leitch, CEO of the Early Years Alliance, said: “Labour’s plans to introduce breakfast clubs for every primary school in England will make a real difference to parents with school-aged children trying to balance their careers and their childcare needs, as well as ensuring that no children start the school day hungry, and so we warmly welcome this proposal.”

However, he added that Labour also needed to look at funding problems in early years education.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson, who made the announcement at the Labour party conference in Liverpool today, also said that Labour would “build a modern childcare system. One that supports families from the end of parental leave, right through to the end of primary school”.

The Government’s response to childcare problems, including closures of providers, is to increase child to staff ratios so that staff can look after more children. A large majority of providers say this will not lower fees for parents and could affect the quality of care offered.

Earlier in the conference, deputy leader Angela Rayner unveiled a new Fair Work Code for the public sector which she said guaranteed fair conditions, job security, wellbeing, proper training, rights at work and union access. She said Labour would also create a Fair Work gold standard to champion the very best of employers and would give genuinely self-employed workers the right to a written contract and timely payment by law.



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