Labour promises school breakfast clubs will save parents £400 a year

Labour has said its commitment to delivering free breakfast clubs in primary schools will save parents more than £400 a year and cut almost half a million days of school absence.

In the first phase of the party’s childcare plan, it promises to slash absence and save primary school parents hundreds of pounds a year.

By Labour’s estimates, for parents who already pay for alternative before-school childcare such as childminders, funded breakfast clubs could cut the cost by up to £50 a week, delivering savings of almost £2,000 across a school year.

Greggs Breakfast Club Appeal
Labour has said it will roll out the fully funded breakfast clubs across all primary schools in England (David Parry/PA)

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, said the breakfast clubs plan is the first step towards delivering a transformation in childcare which supports families from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school.

Ms Phillipson said: “Families’ childcare needs don’t end when their kids leave nursery, that’s why we’ll put free breakfast clubs in every English primary school.

“We’ll fund our clubs by clamping down on tax dodgers and save hardworking parents over £400 every year.

“Breakfast clubs are proven to improve kids’ behaviour and grades, and get those regularly missing class back into school – giving them a great start to their day and getting them ready to learn.”

Labour has said it will roll out the fully funded breakfast clubs across all primary schools in England, expanding significantly from the Conservatives’ plans which it claims reach just one in every seven primary schools.

Sir Keir Starmer visit to Harlow
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson during a visit to a school in Harlow in Essex (Ian West/PA)

In addition to providing vital childcare for parents, Labour analysis claims breakfast clubs could also cut 450,000 days of school absence among primary school pupils.

School attendance has been described as a national crisis as the number of children not attending school has risen in recent years.

Becca Lyon, head of child poverty at Save the Children UK, said: “These commitments are a welcome start to rescuing the English childcare system, ensuring families can get the places they want and need.

“We look forward to seeing more detail on how gaps will be plugged in childcare funding, as well as a path towards all families being eligible for childcare help.

“We strongly encourage all political parties to now set out their plans to rescue and reform the childcare system.”

Conservative Treasury minister Laura Trott said: “HM Treasury officials have found Labour’s policy costs four times more than Labour claims – that means new tax rises to pay for it.

“Not only have Labour admitted their schools’ tax raid will mean “larger classes” in state schools which will damage children’s futures, this unfunded policy is part of Labour’s £38.5 billion black hole requiring £2,094 of tax rises on every working family.”

Labour have denied they will implement £2,000 of additional taxes.