Crumbling school buildings, botched school budgets and now the hat-trick: a childcare pledge in tatters because of Conservative bungling.

This article was originally published in the Sunderland Echo. To read the original article click here

Last Spring, we saw the Chancellor once again following Labour’s lead, and announcing an expansion of free childcare.

However, thousands of parents are now being told by their nurseries that they won’t get their funded childcare, leaving families without the certainty of the childcare place this Tory government promised them.

How did we get here?

A pledge without a plan, a Department without a grip, led by Ministers without a clue.

Back in October, I wrote in the Echo about the shambolic Department for Education botching schools’ budget allocations – costing schools in Sunderland £1.9 million.

Now, the Department is facing a further £120 million shortfall because of yet another miscalculation.

Once again, families across the country are paying the price for Tory incompetence, left in limbo about the support they’ll get.

The Conservative government continues to tell the public that nothing is wrong, with the Prime Minister’s spokesman stating “We are confident that the provision and capability is there”.

But behind the scenes, the Conservatives know their free childcare promise is nothing but a mirage.

Government sources are telling the papers there will be “parents that just don’t get their places.”

Last week, in the Commons, I gave ministers a simple message: the system isn’t working, you must do more, you need to fix it.

The Prime Minister laughed it off, blaming “practical issues”.

Families across the country are struggling in this cost of living crisis and Rishi Sunak simply does not understand how life works for other people.

The truth is, the biggest “practical issue” facing Britain is the constant, farcical incompetence of his government.

It need not be this way.

Former Chief Inspector of Schools at Ofsted, Sir David Bell, is leading Labour’s Early Years Review to ensure the next Labour government can build a modernised childcare system, breaking down barriers to opportunity.

The Prime Minister’s flagship childcare plan is crumbling around him. But more than that, his government is too.

His own MPs are now pointing out how incredibly out of touch he is, claiming he doesn’t understand Britain and that he is an “obstacle to recovery”. I agree.

Up and down this country families are fed up with this government, their broken promises, their incompetence.

It’s time for a general election to end this Tory shambles.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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