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Government must immediately fund childcare deferrals, not wait until 2023

January 25, 2021 5:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has written to the Minister for Children and Young People to demand that legislation securing childcare funding for parents who want to defer their child's school start is immediately brought forward.

Following the campaign run by 'Give them Time', the Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd agreed on the need for legislation to upgrade parent's right to defer and still receive funded childcare. However, the legislative tweak proposed by the Scottish Government would only make this change from August 2023.

Beatrice Wishart MSP said:

"If the Scottish Government genuinely accepts that parents have the right to defer when they believe it is the best thing to do for their child, then it should make the change now and cover the costs.

"The Minister must do the right thing and make it a priority to fund all deferrals this year. Childcare already places a massive strain on family finances. The prospect of extra costs means that families may be dissuaded from making the right choice for their child.

"Children only start school once, so there is only one chance to get this right for every child. Leaving this financial barrier in place until 2023 has real implications for parents' decision making and means three cohorts of children will miss out on guaranteed funding."