Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, has raised concerns regarding the changes to local authority childcare provision. The Scottish Government has announced that local authorities will no longer be legally obliged to deliver 1,140 hours of funded childcare from this August. This means it is down to individual authorities to decide whether childcare is provided but they will have no obligation to do so.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“It is right that local authorities are being supported by the Scottish Government to focus on delivering services amid the current pandemic. Both councils within my constituency – West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute – have my full support and I thank the staff for all their efforts.
“But this announcement today will only add to the levels of stress that parents across my constituency are already experiencing due to nursery and school closures. This is a time of huge uncertainty and regardless of whether the crisis has been contained by August or not, parents will continue to face very real worries about their childcare options. Many were banking on the additional hours to help them manage work and other responsibilities.
“When things do begin to return to normal, we will have to see a huge effort from the Scottish Government to make sure funded childcare will be deliverable as close to the original timeframe as possible.”