Falkirk politicans talk childcare

The cost of public sector nurseries would be capped
The cost of public sector nurseries would be capped

Scottish Labour has 
announced plans for radical reform of the childcare system if voted into power in 2016.

Last week, leaders said the Party would cap the cost of putting children in nursery and give free childcare to mothers who want to study before returning to work.

But this week, local politicians disagreed on how efefctive the plans could be.

Labour’s Siobhan McMahon, MSP for Central Scotland said: “I’m very excited that this policy has come forward.

“Scottish families have waited too long and have seen their budgets pressed by the costs of the adequate childcare they require.

“This policy will also allow mums and dads to return to education, and show them that education and work doesn’t have to come to an end when they have a family.

“This is a costed policy which has been supported by childcare charities.”

However SNP MSP for Falkirk East Angus MacDonald said that while the proposals were “commendable”, implementing them would be challenging.

He said: “Spending on our early learning programme has now exceeded £300 million over the next two years.

“That investment, together with the implementation of free school meals for P1-3 pupils, will especially benefit children and families from our most disadvantaged communities in Falkirk district.

“While Labour’s proposals are commendable we must not forget that any investment is set against substantial cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget by Westminster, and whoever is in power after the next Holyrood election will not be immune to that challenge.”

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland said: “The Scottish Labour Party’s proposals show achieving affordable, high-quality childcare is at the top of the political agenda and we welcome its commitment to achieving change.

“Exactly how this can be achieved is a hugely complex and difficult issue. Any future Scottish Government promising to improve the system will have to find a way of organising and funding a system that delivers high quality for children and their families.”