Shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has admitted that a Labour government would rely on charitable and private childcare providers to put "mothballed" Sure Start centres back into use.
Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show, Mr Hunt said councils would be obliged by law to invite such providers to make use of Sure Start centres:
Labour has said that the removal of the statutory obligation on councils to provide childcare via Sure Start centres by the coalition Government has directly led to a dramatic decline in numbers.
There are 720 fewer now than in 2010 and many more mothballed or running much-reduced hours.
With half of authorities predicting budget cuts will further restrict the service in the next two years, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt said it was vital to restore the pressure to "put the lights back on, get the kids back in".
Labour have pledged to reimpose a requirement to local councils to provide childcare via Sure Start centres in a bid to "save" the network, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt announced.
The network of facilities for parents in mostly deprived areas is seen as one of its most significant initiatives of its time in power.
An investigation looked at 150 NHS complaints regarding allegations that patients had died or suffered avoidable harm because of failings in their care. It found that 28 of the 150 cases should have been investigated by the NHS as a Serious Untoward Incident (SUI), which is triggered to allow doctors to learn from past mistakes.
Investigations weren't carried out when they should have been and when they were carried out they did not find out or explain why failings happened.
When people make a complaint that they have been seriously harmed they should expect it to be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Julie Mellor, said there is "significant variation" in the quality of NHS investigations. But in the vast majority of these cases (71%) the hospital failed to carry out an SUI.
The chief executive of the patients' group Healthwatch England has said that "tens of thousands of patients are being failed" by the NHS complaints system.
The Ombudsman's findings are worrying but sadly not surprising.
Our research shows that tens of thousands of people every year are being failed by the NHS and yet never report it because they have no faith the complaints system will make any difference.
What we need is a complete overhaul of the complaints system that ensures every incident is properly investigated and learnt from, and that those affected are treated with the dignity they deserve.
Patients who complain about their care are being let down by "appalling" NHS investigations, a highly critical review has found. More than a third of probes into deaths or avoidable harm at hospitals were found to be "inadequate", according to an investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
Families interviewed for the review complained they felt "belittled" and "misled" by medical staff who failed to listen to their concerns or give them straight answers. Patients groups said the findings are "worrying" and suggest the lessons from recent hospital scandals have not been learnt.
A glitch meant hundreds of parents were sent a text alert to say that their children had not turned up for school.Read the full story ›
David Cameron has confirmed that there will be a real terms cut to the funding children receive in schools with the budget only increasing as pupil number do, ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:
So Tory plan: amount of money going into schools will go up but ONLY becos number of pupils going up. £ per pupil frozen (a real terms cut)
David Cameron has said that funding per pupil at state schools will be protected by a Conservative government after the election, saying that as the number of pupils grow so will the funding.