Future of childcare under spotlight

EXTENDED leave for parents is to be considered by economic advisers looking at how to improve childcare in the event of an independent Scotland.

The proposal is one option the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) will explore, Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell announced yesterday.

The CEA has been asked to examine the best models of delivery and funding for a system of childcare in an independent Scotland, informed by models in other countries.

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Its work on the issue is due to begin shortly, Campbell confirmed.

She made the announcement at a celebration of the life of Mary Lily Walker, who established Scotland’s first infant health service, at Dundee University.

“There are a range of options that we could consider in an independent Scotland – for example, a fully integrated universal system of early learning and childcare, with a legal entitlement for all children from age one to school entry,” Campbell said.

“A strong early learning and childcare entitlement will benefit our children, by getting their learning journey off to the best start.

“It will also help ensure families have the support they need to return to work and allow more mums to take up jobs and boost our economic future.

“The CEA will consider the economic and social impacts of improving levels of childcare, which will guide our thinking on changes in policy that could provide the best system for children, for families and for our economy.”