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UK general election 2024: Manifesto considerations for children's activity providers

By Fred Lowe, Franchise Representative Board Director, CAA, and Director, SOCATOTS


With the upcoming UK general election 2024 only days away are you wondering how some of the key points from the 2 main parties are posting in their manifestos could relate to your business? Here, our Franchise Representative on the Board, Fred Lowe, highlights a few of the parties' points relating to childcare and education. Have a read and we’d love to hear your thoughts on whether this would affect your business or not. 


Summary: Report on Labour and Conservative party manifestos, focusing on their support for small commercial businesses, particularly those involved in childcare such as nurseries, and their broader approach to services for children.


Labour Party Manifesto Summary


Childcare and Early Education


  • Free Breakfast Clubs: Implement free breakfast clubs in every primary school to aid families during the cost-of-living crisis.

  • Expansion of Nurseries: Open an additional 3,000 nurseries through upgrading space in primary schools, making childcare more accessible.

  • Parental Leave Review: Labour plans to review the parental leave system within their first year to better support working families.


Education and Child Development


  • Quality Education: Increase the quality of numeracy and early communication skills in nurseries and primary schools, including funding early-language interventions.

  • Mental Health Support: Placement of specialist mental health professionals in every school to provide early support for young people.

  • Creative and Vocational Studies: Ensure children can study creative or vocational subjects until age 16, and integrate these into school accountability measures.


Support for Small Businesses


  • Recruitment in Health and Education: Plans to recruit 8,500 new mental health staff and 6,500 new expert teachers could create opportunities for businesses in training and staffing sectors.


Conservative Party Manifesto Summary


Childcare and Family Support

  • Free Childcare Expansion: Offer 30 hours of free childcare weekly from when a child is nine months until they start school, significantly aiding working parents.

  • Family Hubs: Propose to establish a Family Hub in every local authority to provide continuous support from early years to adulthood.


Education and Development


  • Ban on Mobile Phones: Enforce a ban on mobile phones during the school day to focus on education.

  • Mandated Physical Education: Implement two hours of PE every week in primary and secondary schools, enhancing opportunities for sporting organizations and equipment suppliers.


Support for Small Businesses


  • Tax Incentives and Financial Access: Retain key tax incentives like the Enterprise Investment Scheme and explore the creation of Regional Mutual Banks to improve SMEs' access to finance.

  • Invest in Women Fund: A £250 million fund to support female entrepreneurs, potentially benefiting small businesses led by women.

  • R&D Tax Reliefs: Continue with recent improvements in R&D tax reliefs that bring more SMEs into scope, fostering innovation especially in sectors related to children's services and education technologies.


Comparison


Labour has focused their manifesto on direct interventions in education and childcare, such as expanding nursery spaces and implementing free breakfast programs, this may help to increase demand for services and products from small businesses in these sectors.


The Conservative Manifesto looks at broader economic support through tax incentives and funding initiatives, which may encourage growth and sustainability for small businesses, including those providing childcare and educational services.


Both parties offer distinct approaches, with Labour focusing on expanding public educational services and Conservatives promoting economic incentives and funding for growth and innovation. But whichever wins, it is reassuring to see that children's services seem to be a priority for both parties.


A person voting in the UK general election 2024

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