Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today said that it is critical and crucial for childcare to be at the heart of the Scottish Government’s attainment ambitions.
It comes as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a new fund to improve educational outcomes at schools in local authorities with the biggest concentrations of households in deprived areas.
Scottish Liberal Democrats have long pressed the Scottish Government to extend childcare provision to 40 percent of two year olds – a move that could benefit a further 8,000 toddlers each year.
Commenting on the announcement today, Mr Rennie said:
"It is critical and crucial that childcare is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s attainment ambitions. Nobel prize-winner James Heckman tells us that the best educational investment we can make it before the age of three.
“Our plans to expand childcare to 40 percent of two year olds would give 8,000 more children the opportunity they need to get on in life. It would build a stronger economy and a fairer society. We can’t afford for the SNP to take its eye off the ball for another year to focus on another campaign.
“Education is too important to be used as a pawn in the pitch battle between SNP and Labour. If the First Minister is serious about closing the attainment gap she should give our proposals serious consideration.”