Labour will create 100,000 new nursery locations to spice up childcare

Labour will create over 100,000 extra childcare places by opening over 3,000 new nurseries in schools.

Classrooms that have been left empty because of falling birth rates will be converted so they can be used.

The Tories have pledged to increase free childcare hours in England but have been accused of failing to do enough to ensure parents can actually get places.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson on Monday will pledge to make their promises reality by boosting provision.She will announce that 3,300 nurseries will be opened in primary schools. The conversions will be paid for using revenue raised from ending tax breaks for private schools.

The Tories announced last year that the government’s childcare scheme will be extended in England so working parents of kids aged between nine months and three-years-old get 15 hours of free support a week from this September. Ministers have said this will be increased again in September 2025 so working parents get 30 hours of free childcare right from when children are nine months to when they start school.

Labour has said it is committed to delivering the free hours, but said that it will work to expand the number of nursery places available so that parents can actually get what they are entitled to. Ms Phillipson tasked former Ofsted head Sir David Bell with finding new ways to increase levels of childcare in England.

In an interview with the Mirror last month, she said that with fewer children starting school leaving some classrooms empty, she would “think imaginatively about how we use that space”.

She added: “What parents are now discovering is that the places that they’ve been promised just aren’t there. The policy is unravelling. It was always a pledge without a plan to make it happen. Everything that we set out during the election – including around childcare – we’ll have a plan behind it, both in terms of how we’re going to pay for it and how we’re going to deliver it.”