POLITICIANS visited a nursery to explain Labour’s early years policy and the potential it holds for the children.

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and local Labour candidate Helen Goodman made a trip to Yellow Wellies Nursery, in Bishop Auckland, during which they discussed the party's plans to introduce 30 hours of free childcare a week for all two, three, and four-year-olds.

Labour intend to invest one billion pounds in new Sure Start Centres, which since 2010 have decreased from 43 centres to 15 in County Durham alone.

Since 2011 Durham County Council has had £35.8 million cut from its children’s social care budget.

Kate Jones, director of early education at the nursery, said: “Labour’s promise to increase funding for early years places from the current £4 to £7.35 (per hour, per child) is a welcome and realistic level of funding for us, and would enable us to continue to not only be outstanding but also to develop and progress practice and ultimately support our youngest learners."

This is one part of Labour’s early years offer, which also includes ‘poverty-proofing’ schools by introducing free school meals for all primary school children.

Ms Goodman said: “Before I was elected to Parliament, I worked in the early years sector.

"Sure Start was the greatest achievement of the last Labour Government and I am immensely proud that we are offering to bring it back on an expanded basis.”

Ms Thornberry said: “Helen has been part of my Shadow Foreign Affairs team and I can vouch for what a hardworking, honest person she is – she really cares about people.

"Labour’s offer on childcare is a simple one: it’s a simple one which is that all children up to the age of four will get 30 hours free childcare.”

In the upcoming election Ms Goodman will go up against Nick Brown, of the Brexit Party, Ray Georgeson, of the Liberal Democrats and Dehenna Davison, of the Conservative Party.