The big picture: Ed Miliband gets stuck in

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The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband spoke to parents about the lack of government funding for childcare during a visit to the Co-operative Childcare's Wythenshawe nursery in Manchester.

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Mr Miliband, who was joined by shadow children's minister Lucy Powell, spent time with pre-school children before holding a question-and-answer session with the parents, addressing how the party intends to support mothers to return to work.

The Opposition leader also discussed the opportunities and barriers for men in childcare with a male practitioner, coinciding with the nursery group's campaign to increase the number of men working in its settings.