From the bearpit to the sandpit: Women hold the key to No 10

Fiona Twycross AM  |  16 April 2015

If last Sunday newspapers had suggested that childcare, not the economy, would be one of the key battleground issues emerging from the election manifesto launches this week many of us might have been sceptical. As the week has progressed, however, it has become clear that women voters are being targeted by the Conservatives ahead of …

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Caveat emptor: Cameron’s moon on a stick manifesto

Sarah Hayward  |  16 April 2015

The most eye-catching promise from the Conservative manifesto was not the extension of right to buy to housing associations – that had been widely trailed and, to paraphrase Nick Clegg, was like a bad cover of a bad song. The political equivalent of Cameron covering Agadoo, if you will. For me the most eye-catching commitment …

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Higher living standards for working families

Rupa Huq  |  31 March 2015

A better plan for a better future – Five parliamentary candidates present Labour’s five pledges to Britain Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, raise the minimum wage to £8 and provide 25 hours’ free childcare a week Ealing Central and Acton is a …

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End the hidden war on single parents

Alison McGovern MP  |  17 March 2015

In 2014 there were two million single parents with dependent children – that is nearly one in four households with children – and this figure is growing. Single parent families are being hit harder than almost any other group by this government’s policies. Single parents rely on childcare to work, to study and to deal …

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Creating a step change for childcare in London

Lib Peck and Peter John  |  12 March 2015

At the local elections last May, we both made a promise to our respective electorates that we would look into the issue of affordable and accessible childcare and the challenges this represents in the busy, 24-hour London economy. As Labour councils, we also wanted to help ensure that all children in our boroughs are getting …

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‘Labour is the party of the family’

Alison McGovern MP  |  10 March 2015

Alison McGovern MP responds to Karin Smyth’s article Beyond the rhetoric Karin Smyth’s piece demonstrates why caring has become so political. As Labour campaigners, we applaud the love and care shown by family carers, and by hardworking parents bringing up their kids. And we know that Labour has to meet the challenge of making sure families have …

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‘Care is part of our national infrastructure’

Sarah Hayward  |  10 March 2015

Sarah Hayward responds to Karin Smyth’s article Beyond the rhetoric There is a crisis brewing in care and Karin Smyth is right to identify it as a key issue for the next Labour government. As leader of a London borough I see first-hand how a cocktail of cuts to local government, the slow pace of integration …

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children, nursery, toddlers, early years, education, social mobility

Labour’s fresh start for Sure Start

Michael Pavey  |  10 February 2015

Sure Start was to Blair’s government what the NHS was to Attlee’s. It was a radical extension of the state into a field previously characterised by an uneven patchwork of providers. Like the NHS, it universalised a service previously only guaranteed to the independently wealthy. Again, like the NHS, the current Tory-led government have created …

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Parents need a Labour government

Alison McGovern MP  |  6 February 2015

Before Christmas, I wrote for Progress about embarking on my tour of 25 constituencies across the country to promote Labour’s exciting and transformative policy of offering 25 hours of free childcare each week for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds. This week, I have passed a major milestone with a trip to the …

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Childcare: front and centre of our manifesto

Alison McGovern MP  |  12 January 2015

Britain has a serious issue with the cost of childcare. I have been saying that since taking over the shadow children brief, as was my predecessor Lucy Powell before me. But now you do not have to take our word for it. Last week, a poll commissioned by charity 4Children found that one in five …

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