SNP “straitjacket” is driving away childminders

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Willie Rennie has today said the SNP are failing to provide flexibility for families as a new report revealed that the number of childminders in Scotland had fallen by over a quarter in the past five years.

An independent report, published by the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA), has found that “national and local implementation of the Scottish Government’s policy of providing parents of pre-school children with 1140 hours of funded/free childcare has largely failed Scotland’s childminding workforce - which has declined by over 26% (1457 childminders) in the last five years.”

Commenting on the figures Mr Rennie said:

“That such a low proportion of childminders are engaged in the newly expanded hours should be a wake-up call for the SNP Government.  

“Childminders in Scotland have a wealth of experience and can provide a more homely, personalised, flexible offer which is ideal for many children and their families. 

“Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly promised flexibility for families accessing the free early learning and childcare hours, but the system is like a straitjacket.  Families have different needs and demands, and the 1140 hours should be shaped around them rather than the take-it-or-leave-it approach of the government.”

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