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Children must have a fair start in life – Williams and Willott

April 29, 2010 7:40 PM

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central parliamentary candidate today visited Cafe Junior in Cardiff to talk to parents about their key priorities of giving children the best start in life and provide more support for families.

Cafe Junior is a place where parents can relax while children are encouraged to play in a creative and imaginative way.

  • Welsh Liberal Democrat priorities include:
  • Introducing an £80 million fund to increase schools funding for the most disadvantaged children.
  • Allowing parents to share the full allocation of maternity and parental leave between them.
  • Tax breaks for working parents would mean £1,400 extra in their pockets every year
  • Maintaining the commitment to end child poverty by 2020

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"We believe that education is the ladder out of poverty and we need to make sure that the education system gives every child in Wales the chance to get on in life. Everyone in Wales, no matter their background, should get a fair start at life in order to reach their full potential. We know that every child is different, so schools should be given the flexibility - and resources - to teach children in different ways to get the best from them.

"We would introduce an £80 million fund to increase school funding for the most disadvantaged children and improve schools for everyone.

Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central Welsh Lib Dem parliamentary candidate said:

"Families are still struggling after Labour's recession. It's unfair: many parents have lost their jobs and balancing the demands of daily life with caring for young children is a real struggle. Getting time off work is difficult and finding quality, affordable childcare can be impossible.

"The first weeks, months and years after a child is born are life-changing but also enormously challenging for new parents and that's why the Liberal Democrats want to ensure every family gets the help it needs. The system at the moment is simply too inflexible. When a baby is born, the mother gets a year's leave and the father gets just two weeks. We want to allow parents to share the full allocation of maternity and paternity leave between them in whatever way suits them.

"Our tax plans will also mean that every worker will get a £700 reduction in their income tax bill which means that a working family can see an average of £120 extra in their family budget at the end of the month. We've balanced our books so that it's easier for families to balance theirs."