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Labour to launch early years taskforce

At Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner is to lay out plans for an early years taskforce designed to transform early years provision.
 
Angela will highlight that every parent should have the right to quality, affordable childcare, and she will push Labour’s mission to ensure that no child’s life chances are blighted by a lack of support.
 
In what will be her first major speech since taking on the role in July, Angela will argue against the closure of 800 Sure Start Centres since 2010, a service which personally helped Angela when she left school at 16, pregnant and unqualified.
 
“Labour’s Sure Start centres gave me and my friends, and our children, the help and support we needed to grow and develop,” Angela will say. “They changed the lives of three million children and their parents.”
 
The early years taskforce will be designed to provide care and support for every child to fulfil their potential, and to help parents back to work.
 
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said that he welcomes the taskforce at a time of such significant change for the sector.
 
“In the run-up to the last election, political parties on all sides made promises to parents on childcare that weren't necessarily feasible, sustainable or, crucially, in the best interests of children,” Neil said.
 
“This approach must change. We hope that the new taskforce will work with the sector to ensure that any early years policies developed by Labour are directly informed by those working on the frontline, and have the needs of the child at their core.”