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SNP in danger of missing childcare promise

6 Mar 2019

The Scottish Conservatives will today (Wednesday) accuse the SNP of failing to prepare adequately for the delivery of 1,140 hours of funded childcare for eligible children.

The party has released figures, collated from Freedom of Information responses from councils, showing that with less than 18 months to go, approximately 83 percent of public nurseries have not met the target of 1140 hours of funded childcare provision promised by the SNP.

This clearly demonstrates that the SNP are nowhere near meeting their target, and they need private childcare providers to pick up the shortfall.

However, private nurseries have been warning for months that the childcare expansion is on the brink of imploding because the SNP are botching the rollout and implementation.

The Scottish Conservatives will also raise the profound and growing concerns regarding the lack of support and engagement for private nurseries.

The Scottish Conservatives will call on the SNP to urgently address these flaws and ensure that parents depending on this extra childcare provision are not bitterly disappointed.

Scottish Conservative children and young people spokesman, Alison Harris said:

“There’s less than 18 months to go until parents expect 1140 hours of childcare, and yet, as we stand today, only 1 in 5 public nurseries have met it.

“This will only confirm concerns from within the nursery sector that the SNP’s flagship plan to increase childcare will be botched.

“Hardly anything has improved since nurseries raised serious concerns regarding the expansion of childcare last year.

“There is still huge uncertainty over staff recruitment, funding rates and access to capital funding for private nurseries.

“Private nurseries feel they’re being left behind and excluded because of the way the SNP have rolled out this expansion.

“We are hearing more and more examples of businesses either pulling out of impossible partnerships, or closing down all together, and August 2020 gets closer by the day.

“The SNP launched this policy to huge fanfare. They must get it right or parents will be bitterly disappointed.”