Labour is to focus on pre-school children in its five-year education plan due ahead of the general election.
Poor families with children under five will be helped, Labour says
More childcare options and resources will be given to poor families with young children if Labour is re-elected, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Yvette Cooper, the minister in charge of policies on combating social exclusion, told the paper under-fives would be a central election theme.
Labour's manifesto is due to be published within weeks.
"If you are looking for an important theme for a third term, I think you have
to think about children first at the beginning of life," Ms Cooper said.
'Filling the gap'
"The welfare state has always missed out the under-fives.
"It covers maternity services and bits of immunisation, but it misses that age group. We ought to be
filling that gap."
Ms Cooper added that if under-privileged children of this age can be helped than
"their chances in life will be greatly enhanced and society's divisions
A Cabinet committee chaired by Chancellor Gordon Brown is co-ordinating the
education department spending review which is said to include a cash boost to
expand Sure Start, a scheme that helps children and their parents in