Thank goodness my wife and I don’t have to pay for childcare, although like most grandparents we’ve provided childcare for our grandchildren. But if you are a parent in Scotland who needs childcare, you are facing a situation where childcare costs are rising faster than the rate of inflation, and are outpacing rises across the rest of the UK. A recent report from the Family and Childcare Trust exposes the reality of the SNP childcare promises. In Scotland, only 13% of councils are able to offer sufficient childcare for parents who work full time. Contrast that to England where it’s 45% and Wales where it’s 40%. Some aspects of childcare in Scotland are the most expensive in the UK apart from London.
The SNP Government has halved the funding to build new nurseries at a time when the Trust has said that underfunding of free hours is pushing up childcare costs for everyone. Childcare needs to be flexible and affordable. Parents are being let down by the Scottish Government and the cuts to council funding are not going to help.