The delivery of affordable childcare is crucial for the development of children as well as providing support for families.
In Scotland the SNP Government have committed to almost doubling the funded Early Learning and Childcare entitlement from 600 to 1,140 by 2020 in a bid to transform the life chances of children in Scotland.
Our universal childcare offer is unmatched in the rest of the UK – in Scotland all 3 and 4 year olds, and eligible 2 year olds, will benefit from 1,140 hours. The full entitlement is estimated to save families over £350 per child per month – £4,500 a year.
The SNP continue to support policies which deliver for parents, ensuring they have the resources and flexibility they need to give their children the best start in life. We have recently voiced concern over the UK Government’s proposals to close the childcare voucher scheme to new entrants from April 2018. The UK Government must support working parents and keep this scheme going alongside the tax-free childcare scheme so that parents can choose what is most suitable for their needs and offers the most support to their family.
Fundamentally parents on low incomes need to be protected from the impact of enormous childcare costs.
We must look in more detail at the impact the introduction of tax-free childcare will have across all different family types.