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Friday, 26 May 2017

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood plans free nursery places for three-year-olds

Written by Andrew Woodcock

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood is setting out plans for free nursery places for all three-year-olds in Wales as she resumes her party's General Election campaign following a pause after the Manchester bombing.

Ms Wood was visiting a nursery in Llanelli to unveil Plaid's three-point plan to tackle child poverty.

As well as ensuring free nursery places for three-year-olds, Plaid would extend the provision of 12-and-a-half hours a week pre-school education to all two-year-olds.

And the party would create a new Welsh energy company called Ynni Cymru to cut bills for families and retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient, as well as scrapping the so-called "bedroom tax" on housing benefit claimants with surplus rooms.

Ms Wood described the fact that 200,000 children in Wales are living in poverty, and 90,000 in severe poverty, as "a damning indictment of Labour's legacy", and pledged to "break the cycle of poverty and lower educational attainment".

"Every child in Wales should be given the chance to succeed, and access to good quality childcare - such as that in this nursery in Llanelli - is a crucial part of that," she was due to say.

"Plaid Cymru's child poverty action plan means providing free full-time nursery places for all three-year-olds and 12 hours per week of free childcare for two-year-olds. It also includes measures to end fuel poverty through reduced household bills and scrapping the bedroom tax.

"Despite consecutive years of Labour and Conservative rule, one in three children in Wales lives in poverty.

"That is not acceptable. Plaid Cymru wants to give every child every chance of success, but research tells us that children who are born into poverty are already at a disadvantage. That's why we need to break this cycle."

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