Government's free childcare policy defeated by peers

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers voted against proposals to raise the amount of free childcare for three and four-year-olds. Credit: ITV News

The government has suffered a defeat in the House of Lords over its plan to double the amount of free childcare for parents of three and four-year-olds.

Labour and Liberal Democrat peers voted 222 to 209, majority 13, for the change not to come into force until a full analysis of funding the policy has been carried out.

In August, nurseries warned that the Conservative's pre-election pledge to raise free childcare from 15 to 30 hours for 38 weeks a year would cost providers and are unworkable.

Complaining abut a lack of detail in the Bill, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch said: "There are real questions about how these new places are to be funded and what will happen if they aren't fully funded."

She said the plan wasn't viable without a considerable injection of cash and demanded a review of the funding system before the Bill became law.

Despite the Shadow Education Secretary saying she wants to see this policy implemented, Labour are deliberately trying to delay these important measures coming forward, showing they aren’t on the side of families and won’t help parents with the affordability of childcare.

– Conservative Party spokesperson