Glasgow council: Labour pledges to extend childcare provision
LABOUR has pledged to extend childcare provision if it retains control of Scotland’s largest local authority, after what will be a hotly contested election in May.
Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson said the move would be worth up to £1,500 for families with young children.
He made the announcement during a visit to Dove Street Nursery in the city’s Nitshill area with Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and MP Harriet Harman.
Children receive 15 hours of funded childcare a week at the beginning of the term, after their third birthday.
If re-elected, Labour says the scheme will extend to the start of the term in which they turn three, helping an estimated 7,000 children a year.
Mr 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.
Ms Lamont said: “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.”
She said the SNP scrapped schemes aimed at expanding childcare to “vulnerable two year olds”.
Ms Harman, a former UK government minister, said: “Childcare needs to be local, affordable and flexible and is absolutely critical in helping mums who want to return to work.
“For decades, Glasgow has led the way on how the council provides childcare and helps, and this development will be a real help to many families in the city. Gordon Matheson is to be congratulated on setting out a vision for childcare in Glasgow and the steps needed to make it a reality.”
Labour faces a strong challenge from the SNP for control of the city council at the election in May.
Earlier this month Mr Matheson narrowly saw off an internal rebellion to pass his council budget by just two votes. The administration suffered a backlash by councillors who have been told they will not be standing for the party again.
Former Labour councillors are expected to stand in the election in a new group.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North