Ministers must pick up the pace on investment in childcare

Alison Johnstone MSP, Children & Young People spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (23 March) urged Scottish Ministers to pick up the pace on investment in childcare after a report showed just half of nurseries plan to offer the Government's pledge of 1,140 free hours of childcare a year.

The National Day Nurseries Association warns that hourly rates offered to private and third sector nurseries by local authorities are not enough to cover costs, and that a lack of places will increase pressure on unpaid carers, such as grandparents.

The report urges investment in continuous professional development for staff, particularly focussing on training for Additional Support Needs, and it warns that parents on funded places are already being charged extra for their child’s food and snacks.

Alison Johnstone MSP said:

"Quality and not just quantity of childcare is vital. This report must prompt ministers to pick up the pace on investment to help childcare providers cope with rising costs.

"Green MSPs previously pressed for the Living Wage to be rolled out to nursery and childcare staff given the importance of the job they do, and it's welcome to see the Scottish Government agreeing to do so. But this report makes clear that there is much more to do, to make childcare the well-paid, attractive employment it should be."