Were you one of the millions of people who watched the big election debate last week between David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg? The debate was designed to convey their policies when it came to the big issues, but overall I was left no clearer on what they were actually proposing.
So if, like me, you're still unsure who to vote for, you might find these summaries useful in understanding their manifestos for families.
- Freeze council tax for two years, giving families a much needed break from the annual increases.
- Marriage tax, equating to around £150 a year for parents who stay married.
- Extra Sure Start health visitors for parents to get the advice and help they need
- Give teachers the power to discipline in schools
- Create smaller schools, with higher standards for teachers
- Flexible parental leave, allowing you to share the leave between you or take it at the same time.
- Flexible working hours for any parents with children under 18.
- Free nursery care for pre-school children, allowing more mothers to go back to work earlier.
- Greater access laws for non-residential parents and grandparents.
- Clamping down on inappropriate advertising for children and allowing teachers the ability to ban advertising and vending machines in school.
- Protect school spending and invest further in the Sure Start campaign
- One-to-one tuition for struggling students
- An expansion of free nursery places for two-year-olds and 15 hours a week of flexible, free nursery education for three and four-year-olds.
- Every child leaving primary school secure in the basics.
- Giving parents the power to bring in new school leadership teams, through mergers and takeovers, with up to 1,000 secondary schools part of an accredited schools group by 2015.
- Every young person guaranteed education or training until 18, with 75 per cent going on to higher education, or completing an advanced apprenticeship or technician level training, by the age of 30
- A new Toddler Tax Credit of £4 a week from 2012
- More help for parents to balance work and family life, with a 'Father's Month' of flexible paid leave
- Cutting class sizes to ensure children get the individual attention they need
- Scrapping university tuition fees during first degrees
- Investing £2.5 billions in schools, targeted to help struggling pupils
- Axing the National Curriculum and replacing it with a slimmed-down 'Minimum Curriculum Entitlement'
- Scale back Key State 2 tests for 11-year-olds
- Creating a General Diploma to brings GCSEs, A-levels and vocational qualifications together
- Guaranteeing Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements for all five-year-olds
- Giving schools the freedom to make the right choices for their pupils
- Improving teacher training by increasing the size of the both the Graduate Teacher Programme and Teach First
- No income tax for the first £10,000 earned.
- 19 months of parental leave can be shared between both parents
- Free childcare for children 18 months - 5 years.
- Flexible working will be available for all employees, to cater for grandparents and carers.
Source: Liberal Democrats
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