We asked all political parties and election candidates to make the following Promise to Children:
If elected, I will…
Make early years a priority by increasing investment to ensure affordable, accessible, quality early years services and by continuing to strengthen family leave.
Increase investment to the OECD average (0.8% GDP) within the lifetime of the next government, moving to the UNICEF benchmark of 1% of GDP within 10 years.
Link public investment to quality – Invest in quality improvements, higher qualification levels, and professional wages for staff. Reform the current inspection system. Link increased funding to higher quality, and cut public money from childcare providers who do not meet basic standards.
Regulate childminders, to provide protection for children. Bring childminders into public funding schemes. No child should be in a poor quality service.
Develop subsidised quality childcare, to make high quality childcare affordable for all.
Subsidised quality childcare means parents can afford to work and know that their child is well cared for.
Introduce at least 6 months’ paid parental leave, to be taken after existing (paid) maternity leave provision, available to either parent.
That way a child can be cared for at home, by a parent, until at least their first birthday.
Ensure sufficient subsidised places in all areas of the country.
Make subsidised places available through all providers, including regulated childminders.
Ensure enhanced support is available for all children who need it, whatever the child’s age or background.
No child should be excluded because they have additional needs.