Children’s Education Recovery and Childcare Costs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:02 pm on 7th June 2022.

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Photo of Mark Logan Mark Logan Conservative, Bolton North East 6:02 pm, 7th June 2022

You will be glad to know, Madam Deputy Speaker, that I intend to keep my remarks short.

Let me begin by thanking all those working in childcare support in Bolton and across the country, following what was said by my hon. Friend Justin Tomlinson. I especially thank all the staff at Eagley School House Nursery in Bromley Cross, run by Julie Robinson, who, when it comes to this issue, is a leader not only in my constituency but throughout the United Kingdom. I also thank those at Queensbrook Children’s Nursery in Halliwell and Bolton School in Chorley New Road, which I visited very recently. When visiting those nurseries, especially during the pandemic, I have often heard from staff who feel that they have not been loved enough by the general public—among others—although they are providing an exceptional service, and I want to put on record my gratitude for the support that they have given my constituents.

What, then, are the Government doing? Conservative Members, including the Minister, have mentioned quite a few things today, including the offer of free childcare to every three and four-year-old, giving millions of children the best possible start in life, which has had a positive impact on more than 1.21 million children. The Government have also provided free childcare so that more than 124,000 two-year-olds, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can receive a good early education. They have cut the cost of childcare for 458,000 children through our tax-free childcare offer. My hon. Friend Jonathan Gullis mentioned the £14 million that we have already committed to family hubs, in addition to the £20 million to support the 10 new ones.

In the last few days, I have been reading through the Action for Children report, which makes incredibly interesting reading. I notice that my next-door neighbour, Yasmin Qureshi, is in the Chamber today. When the Government continue to focus on the levelling-up agenda, Bolton will be one of the top 10 local authorities to benefit from such an agenda, and the investment through public services will help to bring over 8,000 children out of poverty and give them better life chances.

Just to finish, I would like to say happy birthday to my daughter Brannagh, who is in the Public Gallery and who turns four today. She is dressed like a little princess, and a princess she is, of course. She was not very happy this morning when I sang “Happy Birthday” at 8 am, but everyone here will be happy to know that we are banned from singing “Happy Birthday” in the Chamber. And with that, I shall finish.