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Scotland lagging behind rest of UK on childcare

March 15, 2012 11:02 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the UK on the provision of affordable childcare. That's the claim that will be made today by the Scottish Liberal Democrats who will lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Liberal Democrats will urge Scottish Ministers to follow the lead of the UK Coalition Government.

Liam McArthur MSPLiam McArthur MSPA recent report, The Scottish Childcare Lottery, found that there are significant gaps in the availability of childcare services in Scotland, coupled with families having to pay some of the highest costs in the UK.

Scottish Liberal Democrats want children to have the best start in life given the effect this has on their life chances later on, but with services lagging behind the rest of the UK, children are at risk of missing out in Scotland. The Scottish Government must address this.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat Children's spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:

"Access to affordable, high quality childcare not only supports children's learning and development but also enables parents to return to work, which is so important in these tough financial times.

"Scotland is lagging behind England on entitlement to free pre-school education. This is not good enough.

"Also across Scotland, there are huge variations in cost and availability of childcare services putting many families at a disadvantage purely because of their postcode.

"The Scottish Government needs to follow the lead take by the UK coalition Government when it comes to the provision of childcare north of the border.

"Giving our children the best start in life is so important to their future life chances. We need to make sure that Scotland's children are getting this chance."