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Wishart: Government leaving childminding services to fail

October 1, 2020 4:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has repeated warnings that the Scottish Government is leaving childminder services to fail following an exchange in parliament this afternoon.

Ms Wishart pressed Childcare Minister Maree Todd for the government to provide financial support for childminding services at a comparable level to that available to the rest of the childcare sector. The Minister responded that childminders are able to operate close to normal.

Commenting, Ms Wishart said:

"SCMA is clear in its survey published last week that childminders are going to considerable expense and effort to ensure their premises continue to be safe to offer services. The government is expressly refusing to recognise the extra costs in time and equipment.

"There is a real risk that many childminding businesses won't be financially viable for much longer. Losing dedicated ELC professionals is entirely short-sighted. Childminders offer choice and flexibility. Some children cope better in more intimate settings and families need that choice. Childminders need to be at the heart of the 1,140 hours rollout.

"The Scottish Government needs to reach out to the sector and engage meaningfully to understand the real strains on businesses and provide support to get them through the pandemic."