NDNA - pledge roundup 

NDNA has compiled a roundup of the main and most relevant party pledges which affect the sector, ahead of the General Election on 12 December. 

NDNA is campaigning hard to ensure your voices are heard. View NDNA’s resources including manifesto, factsheet and letter templates for parents and parliamentary candidates here. Please share and utilise them wherever you can and urge everyone to #GetItRightForEY. 

Summary of key pledges –

Policy Area



Liberal Democrat


Childcare offers

Expanded childcare offer for primary school children

Extra £66 million for 2020/21

30 hours extended to all 2, 3 & 4 year olds

Increase funding rates

35 hours childcare for all 2, 3 & 4 year olds and from 9 months for working parents

Increase funding rates

Plaid Cymru - free universal childcare for all 1-3 years olds in Wales

Greens – 35 hours from 9 months


Promised to keep as exists

Disband and replace

Disband and replace

Greens – replace Ofsted

Other early years policies

£1bn to give more holiday & wraparound care in schools

£780m additional SEND

Graduate led workforce

National Education Service

Re-opening Sure Start Centres

Triple EYPP

Settings to have a training programme

Work towards a graduate in every setting

SNP – all nursery managers degree qualified


Continue Universal Credit roll-out

Maternity Leave from 9-12 months

Scrap Universal Credit

Keep Universal Credit but remove the 2-child limit

Baby Boxes

Brexit – review UC

Green – UBI not UC

SNP–12 week dad leave


NLW to increase to over £10.50 over next 5-6 years

NLW to anyone over 21

Raise NMW to at least £10p/h within the next year for all over 16

Independent review on how to get the real living wage (£9.30) across all sectors

Business Rates

Review with an aim to reduce the burden

Review with a view to a land value tax

Scrap, replace with land ownership levy

Brexit – replace Business Rates


Brexit Party –

The main pledges from the Brexit party which will affect the sector include: Brexit Party logo

  • Free up small businesses to create new jobs. They will exempt 1 million companies with profit before tax of under £50,000 from Corporation Tax.


  • Scrap the Apprentice Levy. Improve tax incentives for employers to take on genuine apprentices
  • Introduce a new workable apprenticeship scheme.

Universal Credit: 

  • Support those who have paid into the system with accelerated payment processes (five-week maximum), and continue to root out fraud 
  • Undertake a 12-month review of the system and bring in reforms within two years 
  • Review the position of women unexpectedly short-changed by recent rises in the state pension age. 

Read the full Brexit Party contract here

Conservative party – 

The main pledges from the Conservative party which will affect the sector include: Conservative logo

Early years:
  • Establish a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare, including before and after school and during the school holidays
  • Raising teacher starting salaries to £30,000
  • Establish a new £1 billion fund to help create more high quality, affordable childcare, including before and after school and during the school holidays
  • Create a new National Skills Fund worth £3 billion over the next Parliament. This fund will provide matching funding for individuals and SMEs for high-quality education and training. A proportion will be reserved for further strategic investment in skills, and we will consult widely on the overall design
  • Legislate to allow parents to take extended leave for neonatal care
  • Look at ways to make it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.


  • Will raise the National Living Wage further.

Universal Credit:

  • Continue the roll-out of Universal Credit
  • Do more to make sure that Universal Credit works for the most vulnerable.

Read the full Conservative manifesto here

Green Party -

The main pledges from the Green party which will affect the sector include: Green Party logo

Early years:
  • Formal education will start at 6 years. Those under 6 will remain in early years education, with a focus on play-based learning and access to nature
  • Replace Ofsted with a collaborative system of assessing and support schools locally
  • Create a fully inclusive education system, where children with special education needs are able to access their local school and are fully supported in that school.
  • Provide 35 hours a week of free childcare for all, from the age of nine months. 

Universal Credit/benefits:

  • Replace Universal Credit and benefit sanctions regime 
  • Families with an income of under £50,000 per year will receive an additional supplement of £70 per week for each of their first two children and a further £50 per week for each additional child
  • Families with an income of over £50,000 per year will receive smaller additional supplements per child, with the amount decreasing further the more a family earns.


  • Increase the Living Wage to £12 and extend it works aged between 16 and 21.

Read the full Green Party manifesto here

Labour Party – 

The main pledges from the Labour party which will affect the sector include: Labour party logo

Early years:
  • Within five years, all 2, 3 and 4-yearolds will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare per week and access to additional hours at affordable, subsidised rates staggered with incomes
  • Work to extend childcare provision for 1 year olds and ensure provision accommodates working patterns of all parents 
  • Reverse cuts to Sure Start and create Sure Start Plus, with enough centres to provide a universal service, available in all communities, focused on under 2s
  • Two term vision to make high-quality early years education available for every child 
  • Extend maternity leave to 12 months
  • Offer free training to the workforce to attain qualifications on the job
  • Increase funding and fund providers directly
  • Recruit nearly 150,000 additional early years staff including Special Educational Needs Coordinators 
  • Introduce a national pay scale
  • Scrap Ofsted and replace it with a new body responsible for inspections, designed to drive improvement
  • Provide sustainable, long-term funding to secure the future of maintained nursery schools. 

Universal Credit:

  • Pay childcare costs up front so that parents aren’t forced to turn down work or get into debt to pay for childcare
  • Scrap Universal Credit – design an alternative system 
  • Implement an emergency package of reforms while new system is designed 
  • End the five-week wait 
  • Stop 300,000 children from being in poverty by scrapping the benefit cap and the two child limit
  • Protect women in abusive relationships by splitting payments and paying the child element to the primary carer


  • Introduce a Real Living Wage of at least £10 per hour for all workers aged 16 and over
  • Use WORK 60 IT’S TIME FOR REAL CHANGE savings to public finances to help small businesses manage the extra cost.

Read the full Labour manifesto here

Liberal Democrats –

The main pledges from the Liberal Democrats which will affect the sector include:Liberal Democrat logo
Early Years:
  • Free high-quality childcare from nine months for all working parents, properly funded
  • Offer free, high-quality childcare for every child aged two to four and children aged between nine and 24 months where their parents or guardians are in work: 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year
  • Increase the funding to cover the actual cost of provision
  • Invest £1 billion a year in Children’s Centres to support families and tackle inequalities in children’s health, development and life chances
  • Triple the Early Years Pupil Premium (to £1,000) to give extra help to disadvantaged children who are at risk of falling behind from the beginning
  • Require all Early Years settings to have a training programme for staff, with the majority of staff working with children to have a relevant Early Years qualification or be working towards one
  • In the long run, each Early Years setting should have at least one person qualified to graduate level
  • Introduce ‘baby boxes’ in England to provide babies and parents with essential items to help with health and development
  • Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools. Inspections should take place every three years and should consider a broader range of factors including the social and emotional development of children, and the wellbeing of staff and pupils. Independent schools should be subject to the same inspection regime.


  • Expand the apprenticeship levy into a wider ‘Skills and Training Levy’ to help prepare the UK’s workforce for the economic challenges ahead with 25 per cent of the funds raised by the levy going into a ‘Social Mobility Fund’ targeted at areas with the greatest skill needs
  • Improve the quality of vocational education, including skills for entrepreneurship and self-employment, and improve careers advice and links with employers in schools and colleges.

Universal Credit:

  • Reform Universal Credit to be more supportive of the self-employed.

Read the full Liberal Democrat manifesto here

Plaid Cymru -

The main pledges from Plaid Cymru which will affect the sector include:Plaid Cymru logo

Early years:
  • £35 a week payment for every child in low income families
  • Free full-day early years childcare and early years education to all children between 1-3 years old. Offer seamless care from early years into school. Our aim will be to use this first stage of education to ensure that all Welsh children become bilingual
  • Provide an extra £300million a year for our schools and colleges. It will enable us to expand capital investment in new school-community hubs, together with developing new Welsh medium schools and 3-14 and 3-19 through-schools where there is local demand
  • Work with childcare providers, such as Mudiad Meithrin, to ensure that sufficient Welsh language childcare is available in all parts of Wales.

Read the full Plaid Cymru manifesto here

Scottish National Party –

The main pledges from the Scottish National Party which will affect the sector include: SNP logo

Early Years:

  • Increase maternity leave to one year, set maternity pay at 100% of average weekly earnings for the first 12 weeks, then 90% for 40 weeks or £150.00
  • Increased shared parental leave from 52 to 64 weeks, with the additional 12 weeks to be the minimum taken by the father
  • Introduce a principle of ‘use it or lose it’ – whereby the paternity leave cannot be transferred in order to encourage fathers to take the leave - while protecting maternity leave if a couple choose not to take advantage of the provision
  • Parents would receive an extra statutory paid week of leave for every week their baby is in neo natal care
  • Expand childcare into the school holidays for primary pupils from the poorest backgrounds.

Universal Credit/benefits:

  • Halt to Universal Credit 
  • Commitment to introduce a new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment for low income households by the end of 2020 
  • Demand a UK wide benefit take-up campaign so people are encouraged to get the help they are entitled to, particularly pension credit
  • Press for an immediate end to benefit freeze and for uplifts in the value of income replacement benefits of at least inflation 
  • Urge the UK Government to match their commitment to support low income families by introducing payments at key times in a young child’s life as the SNP Scottish government have done with nursery and school payments of £250 as well as matching the new Scottish Child Payment
  • Demand the end of the two-child benefit cap and the rape clause
  • Demand an end to the punitive benefits sanctions regime. 

Business/Staffing costs:

  • Press for the statutory living wage to rise to at least the level of the real living wage, and for an end to age discrimination. SNP MPs will demand tougher action to close the gender pay gap, including introducing fines for businesses that fail to meet an agreed Equal Pay Standard
  • Back a rise in the National Insurance discount businesses receive when they increase employment from £3,000 per business per year to £6,000 per business per year
  • Call on the UK Government to adopt their Fair Work First approach. This champions the Real Living Wage, opposing exploitative zero hours contracts and ensures that companies that want grants from government sign up to fair work principles.


  • SNP need to ensure agency workers and those in insecure work or on zero hour contracts, can still get access to the same employment rights of those in secure employment (following Taylor Review findings) 
  • Pending Scottish independence, we will press for the devolution of employment law so that the Scottish Parliament can protect workers’ rights, increase the living wage and end the age discrimination of the statutory living wage.

Read the full Scottish National Party manifesto here