EDINBURGH MP, Mike Crockart, has urged the Scottish Government to take action on childcare in Scotland after a report by Citizens Advice revealed failings.
The report found that childcare in Scotland is “unaffordable and unavailable” with Scottish parents spending 27% of their income on childcare compared to just 12% in other developed countries.
The report also found that only 23% of Scotland’s Local Authorities felt that there was enough childcare for working parents in their area, compared with 54% of English Local Authorities.
Crockart has backed Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie’s calls for the creation of a new childcare taskforce so that bold plans for childcare can be delivered along with the new powers for Scotland following the Smith Commission.
Mr Crockart said: “This report is proof that the Scottish Government needs to wake up and take action on child care. The combination of high childcare costs and a lack of places is making it extremely difficult for working parents in Edinburgh and across Scotland to find suitable childcare for their children.
“From autumn 2015, 2,800 families in Edinburgh will benefit from tax-free childcare. However, the SNP Government will only be delivering free childcare to 27% of two year olds from next year, compared with the current rate of 40% of two-year olds in England.
“The SNP Government were refusing to provide free early years education for any 2 years olds and only changed their minds after 2 years of pressure and campaigning from the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
“Recently, Nicola Sturgeon announced 12 new bills to be brought before Holyrood and promised a ‘radical’ plan for Government. I was extremely disappointed that out of these 12 bills, none included action on childcare. It is time for the SNP to match what the Liberal Democrats are delivering elsewhere in the UK.”