Scottish Liberal Democrats today pledged to keep the pressure on the Scottish Government to deliver the expansion of early learning and childcare (ELC) entitlements after new modelling revealed it will need to recruit 11,000 additional staff over the next three years.
In response to a parliamentary question, the Scottish Government announced that fulfilling the expansion to 1140 hours will require up to 11,000 additional ELC workers by 2020.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
“Expanding free early learning and childcare is essential for closing the attainment gap and giving children a better start in life. Scottish Liberal Democrats were pleased to see the SNP Government accept our arguments for funding early years support and we will now press them to deliver on those commitments.
“The Government are already way behind and will struggle to deliver on these promises. Fears that ministers will try to roll this out on the cheap have already contributed to only half of nurseries saying they are likely to get involved in delivering this policy.
“The scale of the workforce required to carry out these proposals was one of the big question marks hanging over this policy. Today's clarification is a stark reminder of the scale of the challenge facing the Scottish Government but it is critical that these 11,000 staff are found and trained, otherwise parents won't be able to take up this offer."