Responding to the announcement that the statutory duty to deliver 1140 hours of funded ELC will not come into effect until August 2021, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP said:
"The pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives but this government cannot use it as an excuse to kick the can down the road on major commitments. There will be no recovery without properly funded and supported childcare.
"Scottish Liberal Democrats secured commitments from the Scottish Government to expand childcare but parents need choice and flexibility, and it still isn't clear that will be available next August. It must not be a take it or leave it offer to families.
"Ministers need to be open about where progress has been made and where more attention is needed. This childcare is a lifeline for both parents and their children. If we want Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up, ministers need to get a move on.
"The Childcare Minister must also reconsider her refusal to cover the costs of childcare for those deferring entry into P1 until 2023. Parliament voted for this in 2019 because parents who want to do what is right for their child shouldn't be facing a £4,500 price tag."