Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today warned that nurseries are at risk of closure as a result of the SNP Government’s bungled roll out of their commitment to deliver 1,140 hours of childcare.
On a visit to Peerie Foxes nursery in Lerwick alongside Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart, Mr Rennie warned SNP ministers “cack-handed” handling of their flagship childcare policy could lead to private nurseries closing.
Mr Rennie said:
“The consequences of the Government’s cack-handed roll out of the nursery education programme is that nurseries are being shut down and others are teetering on the edge. By freezing private nurseries out of receiving state funded places these nurseries are now under real threat.
“As these private nurseries provide wrap around care as well as places for babies, one-year olds and many two-year olds there will be a massive hole in local childcare provision.
“If Peerie Foxes nursery closes there will be none of the additional childcare in Lerwick that parents depend on especially if they are in work.”
Beatrice Wishart added:
“We have lost Sandwick Central nursery and now Shetland is in danger of losing another essential private childcare provider.
“Tavish Scott wrote to Maree Todd – a Highlands and Islands MSP - asking for the government to have a realistic approach to this, not one that drives nurseries out of business but as usual with the SNP, Government ministers think they know best.
“The reality is that parental choice is being lost. Parents will be furious. In week one as your MSP I will raise this issue with ministers."