Suzy Stride, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Harlow has welcomed an announcement that Labour would double Sure Start places in areas like Harlow. The announcement from shadow education sectretary Tristam Hunt, also committed the next Labour government to restoring the stutatory obligation on Sure Start centres to provide childcare and grant them powers to allow other providers such as local charities to use their facilities.
2 Sure Start centres have closed in Harlow since the Tory/Lib Dem government came to power in 2010, 720 have closed nationwide.
Suzy this week went to meet Christine O'Dell (pictured with Suzy Stride outside Sunflower Sure Start centre which remains open and could benefit from an expansion in places under Labour ) who ran one of the centres ioon Harlow before it was closed by local Tories. Christine told Suzy of the important contribution that Sure Start centres make to early years development in local children in Harlow.
Despite claims in 2010 that the Tory/Lib Dem government would “be the most family friendly Government we’ve ever had in this country” (David Cameron, 2010). Five years on, there is a crisis in childcare in Harlow.
Labour has released a dossier demonstrating the Tories’ failure on childcare and families’ living standards. Working families cannot afford five more years of the Tories, which would mean five more years of this crisis in childcare.
Suzy Stride, Harlow's Labour General Election Candidate said:
“I'm constantly meeting people in Harlow who tell me of the huge cost of childcare locally.”
“Childcare costs are rising while childcare places are plummeting and those with children have seen their wages fall twice as far as the average. This is creating a childcare crisis in Harlow.”
“We have seen 2 Sure Start centres close in here since the Tories came to power, all at the same time as they have voted to protect Bankers Bonuses and give a tax cut to millionaires. Speaking to people like Christine O’Dell who ran these centres underlines to me what hugely important work these centres do and why we should protect and improve them.”
“I welcome the announcement from Tristam Hunt, who visited Harlow just weeks ago to help protect and improve our local Sure Start centres. Families in Harlow need the support and services that Sure Start provides and Labour will invest in them"