Labour pledges to create 100,000 extra nursery places nationwide if elected

"We are determined to deliver not just more childcare, but better childcare."

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 10th June 2024

Labour has pledged to covert more than 3,000 vacant school classrooms across England into nursery facilities if elected next month.

Ahead of the upcoming General Election – which is due to take place on Thursday 4 July – in a couple of weeks time, Labour and its leader, Sir Keir Starmer, have been outlining the Party’s vision for the both the immediate and long-term future of the country.

As part of this, the Party has today unveiled what it says is a “clear plan” for childcare and early education nationwide.

Labour is pledging to “give every child life chances” and “every parent work choices”.

At the heart of this is the intent to make childcare “available, accessible, and affordable” throughout the country, predominately through the creation of more than 3,000 new nursery classes in England – which will be done by converting spare school classrooms into “high-quality spaces” that’ll be paid for by putting an end to the tax breaks that private schools are currently “enjoying”.


The Party says it’s also intent on delivering the “enhanced entitlements” the current UK Government has offered, if elected, which it hopes will eventually save thousands of pounds a year for working families.

On top of this, another key part of Labour’s plan unveiled this week is to make sure childcare doesn’t end when children start school – with one other major thing the Party is pledging including the promise to provide free breakfast clubs in every primary school in England, paid for by ending tax ‘loopholes’ and “clamping down on tax evasion”.

Labour has pledged to create 100,000 extra nursery places nationwide if elected / Credit: Labour

Labour believes breakfast clubs not only give parents the choice for an earlier start to their working day, but also “drive up attendance and standards” and “improve behaviour and attainment” of pupils.

“Labour’s plan has been built by learning from how childcare works the world over,” Sir Keir Starmer explained.

“It stretches from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school, because every parent knows that childcare costs don’t end when children start school. Labour is determined to deliver not just more childcare, but better childcare and early education – for the best start to every life.”


As tends to be the case with politics, the Party’s plan for childcare and early education has been met with both praise and criticism from unions, experts, and so on.

Trade union UNISON and its assistant general secretary, Jon Richards, said the expansion of nurseries “could make the world of difference to parents struggling to find affordable childcare” and that Labour’s plans therefore “make a lot of sense”, but other industry-relevant experts have warned the plans are like a “sticking plaster solution”.

They feel that already-understaffed nurseries don’t have the space or staff to deal with the extra demand.

As well as its own plans unveiled this week, many will know that Labour has already pledged to stick to the current Government’s plans for a staged expansion of free childcare.

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This started with working parents of all two-year-olds in England being able to claim 15-hours a week since April, and is set to be extended to working parents of all children older than nine months from this September.


A full rollout of 30-hours a week free childcare will then go to all eligible families a year later.

Featured Image – RawPixel