Labour plans affordable childcare for families in Hull

Hull North MP Diana Johnson described today's publication of the Government's Childcare Bill as "a massive step forward for families in Hull".

The Bill aims to help local parents and children. Labour will create affordable childcare for all three to 14 year olds and establish SureStart Children's Centre in every community by 2010.

Diana Johnson MP welcomed the Bill, saying; "Parents and children in Hull deserve affordable childcare and the opportunity to make the most of their skills. The new Childcare Bill will be a massive step forward for families in Hull, taking forward progress we have already seen under Labour.

"Having good quality, affordable childcare available for all families will help close the gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and others. Children will be more able to reach their potential and parents can gain access to information and training through the Surestart programme.

"I'm proud that we are delivering on our pre-election promise with such an important step for local parents and children."

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said: "Parents want to give their children the best start in life. This Bill will ensure that they have choice, and that there is information available to help them exercise that choice - helping parents to make responsible decisions about balancing work and family life.

"The needs of children and their parents are at the heart of this legislation. Local authorities will act as the champions of parents and children, ensuring their views are heard in the planning and delivery of services that address the real needs of families.

"Conversely, the Tory record has been a disaster. Right from its launch, the Conservatives have been against SureStart, with David Willets claiming it was a step towards a 'nanny state'.

"In 1997, there were no free nursery places for three and four-year-olds. Under the Tories, maternity leave lasted just 14 weeks and they refused to introduce paternity leave."