Childcare is Saturday’s battleground for Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Campaigning is well under way for the general election and keeping up with the latest promises, policies and pledges from the parties can be bewildering each day.

Here are today’s announcements on issues from parties as they seek to win your vote on December 12.

 

Lib Dems: 35 hours of free childcare

Working parents could receive 35 hours of free childcare per week when their baby reaches nine months under Liberal Democrat plans.

Party leader Jo Swinson said the proposal would close the gap between the end of paid parental leave and the start of free childcare provision.

The Lib Dems have also pledged to provide every child aged two to four with 35 hours of free childcare for 48 weeks of the year.

This would be extended to children aged between nine and 24 months where their parents are in work.

The party estimates the plan would cost £14.6 billion a year, which would be funded by reversing cuts to corporation tax and increasing capital gains tax.

 

Labour: 30 hours free care for two- to four-year-olds

A Labour plan to provide 30 hours per week of free care to all children aged between two and four could save parents as much as £5,000 per year.

Currently, parents of three- to four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours per week of free childcare, with 30 hours available to those meeting strict criteria.

But Labour says a government led by Mr Corbyn would lower the age of access by a year and expand the professional care offer in a move that would benefit close to 900,000 children by the end of a five-year Parliament.

It comes on top of a £1 billion investment programme to reverse Conservative cuts in order to open 1,000 extra Sure Start centres in England to support young families.

 

Conservatives: 50m more GP surgery appointments

Fifty million more appointments in GP surgeries will be created every year under a Conservative majority government, the party has pledged.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the additional appointments – to be in place by 2024-25 – would be made possible by thousands more doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists.

The party wants to train 500 more GPs each year from 2021-22 – bringing the total in training to 4,000 – and estimates that by 2024-25 there will be an additional 3,000 doctors working and training in General Practice.

It says it will invest £2.5 billion over four years to increase the number of NHS staff and improve international recruitment and retention of domestic staff. The Tories have also pledged to recruit 6,000 more non-GP workforce like nurses, physios and pharmacists, and ensure all patients can access digital booking systems and phone or online consultations.

 

Additional reporting by PA Media



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