A new government scheme to increase the availability of childcare for disadvantaged families has faltered at the first hurdle after the Prime Minister failed to guarantee there are enough nursery places available.
Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson asked Prime Minister Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions to guarantee enough nursery places were available to fulfil the expected increase in demand. From 1st September a new duty has been placed on councils to provide nursery places to all eligible two year olds, should their parents wish them to take up a place.
Concerns have been raised by some nursery providers and local councils that there are not enough places to go around. Families in Sunderland who are in receipt of a benefit or children with particular health needs are eligible for a place.
Bridget Phillipson MP said:
"The Prime Minister has failed to give an assurance that enough nursery places exists to fulfil the expected increase in demand. This could mean many families in disadvantaged communities losing out.
"It's important that families have an option of good, quality childcare in their local area. The government must act now to fulfil their commitment."
The full transcript of the exchange at Prime Ministers Question's from the House of Commons website, click here.