Labour today pledged a massive extension of childcare provision in Glasgow if the Labour council is re-elected in May, in a move worth up to £1,500 for families with young children.
Glasgow was the first council in Scotland to provide childcare for three-year olds.
At present, children in Glasgow receive 15 hours a week starting at the beginning of the term after their third birthday. If re-elected, Labour will change this so every child will get a funded childcare place at the start of the term in which they turn three.
It is estimated that over 7,000 children a year will benefit from the change.
Councillor Stephen Curran and Emma Gillan, Labour’s Council candidates in Newlands/ Auldburn, praised today’s move:
“Glasgow has a fantastic record on childcare provision but yet again Labour have led the way in extending availability of free nursery places to children from the age of three.”
“Every parent who wants to work to provide a better and more secure future for their children must be able to do so regardless of their job and a tough economic climate, and childcare must be affordable for all. This will make a real difference to families across the area and is a welcome boost to make childcare affordable for mums and dads who want to return to work.”
Labour Leader of GlasgowCity Council, Gordon Matheson, said:
”Glasgow was the first council in Scotland to offer 15 hours of free childcare to three year olds, but I want our city to stay ahead of the game. Childcare is vital in helping parents, especially women, get back into the job market.”
“I am delighted to unveil this pledge, and it will see almost every child born in Glasgow start their free childcare early. This is a massive boost for them, for their parents and for our city. Childcare is an issue of social justice for families and is at the heart of Labour’s plans.”
Scottish Labour Leader, Johann Lamont, welcomed the pledge:
“Too often there is a gap between the rhetoric of what politicians say and the reality facing families. By contrast this is a real, concrete scheme that will support thousands of children in Glasgow, and their families. Even in good economic times, access to childcare is one of the biggest barriers stopping women coming back to the workplace. When times are tough, childcare is even more important.
”One of the first things the SNP did after winning power was to scrap important schemes aimed at expanding childcare to vulnerable two year olds. That was a disgraceful decision. Labour in Glasgowdeserves significant praise for their commitment to developing and expanding childcare across the city.”
What does this mean for your family?
If re-elected, Labour will guarantee every child inGlasgow a funded childcare place (15 hours a week) at the start of the term in which they turn three.
How is this different to what we currently get?
At present, children in Glasgow receive 15 hours a week starting at the beginning of the term after their third birthday. There are three term intakes – August, January and Easter (usually April).
For example, a child turning three in December would currently receive a funded place from the start of the next term (January). Under the new proposals, the same child would start in the August prior to their birthday – five months earlier than the current arrangements.
What difference will this make?
A significant one. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that childcare costs remain one of the biggest barriers to work for parents. Providing funded childcare places up to five months earlier helps hard pressed families by allowing them to return to work without the additional cost of childcare. Costed at £5 an hour for nursery care, this is the equivalent of £1,500 per child.
Glasgow was the first local authority in Scotland to provide 15 hours of free childcare from the age of three.