Commenting on a new survey from the Scottish Childminding Association which suggests that if current restrictions were to continue only 19% of childminding businesses believe they will still be viable in 12 months’ time, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said:
"The Scottish Government have a big challenge on their hands. If they do not change course the majority of childminding businesses will be in deep trouble.
"The decision to reopen businesses without making appropriate childcare provision available presents parents with an impossible choice between looking after their kids or risking their job.
"The present rules prevent childminders from operating and grandparents from sharing the load. Government ministers need to explain how anyone is supposed deal with these impossible constraints."
The survey by the Scottish Childminding Association reveals:
if only 19% of childminding businesses were to remain viable, this would equate to over 3600 childminders going out of business and the loss of over 22,300 childcare places for families at a time when childcare will be vital in supporting economic recovery.
Over 1300 professional childminders throughout Scotland responded to SCMA’s survey. Main findings include:
- 58% of childminders believe current restrictions on blended care have already had a “significant negative effect” or “negative effect” on their business
- 1 in 3 childminders currently open do not know if they will be able to stay open, with 64% reporting restrictions in blended care as a major factor
- 68% of all childminders (and 74% of childminders who are currently open) believe their business will still be financially viable in 12 months if current restrictions on blended care are lifted before schools go back in August; however, if restrictions on blended care continue after schools go back, only 19% of childminders believe their businesses will still be viable in 12 months’ time