MSP urges parents to study childcare options

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Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP Rona Mackay is urging local parents to get involved with a consultation on key aspects of childcare.

The consultation on the expansion of childcare and early learning in Scotland was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP conference earlier this month, and runs until January.

One proposal would see funding “follow the child”, with parents or carers empowered to choose the provider (nursery/childminder) that best meets their needs.

As long as that provider met agreed standards the local authority could be asked to supply the funding.

Another option – suggested by Children in Scotland’s Childcare Commission – would see the establishment of early learning and childcare accounts.

Parents or carers would be given direct funding and allowed to buy the services of providers offering them the best solution.

Trials of the new system will begin after the consultation in January, with plans for a full roll out by 2020.

Rona Mackay said: “I hope parents across my constituency are able to get involved.

“As an MSP, I received a great deal of contact from constituents about early years, so I know how important it is to the people of East Dunbartonshire.

“The proposals are a radical new approach by the SNP government to prioritise choice and flexibility in childcare. “We are putting children at the very heart of our programme for government.”

For further details about the consultation visit consult.scotland.gov.uk/creating-positive-futures/expansion-of-early-learning-and-childcare.