Mums lobby MSPs over cost of care

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PARENTS will lobby MSPs at Holyrood today urging them to make childcare more affordable so more mothers can return to work.

Save the Children Scotland want all councils to provide 15 hours a week free for three-year-olds, which currently only some manage. They also want that pledge to be extended to cover two and four-year-olds as well.

They say Scottish parents face the highest childcare costs in Europe.

According to Save the Children’s figures, the most expensive nurseries charge £233-a-week, the equivalent of £11,688 a year, for a two-year-old receiving 25 hours a week.

Claire Telfer, Save the Children’s policy and advocacy manager in Scotland, said: “Parents are asking for a helping hand with childcare.

“There has been lots of progress over the last decade to increase the availability and affordability of childcare in Scotland. Yet parents tell us that they are still struggling to access affordable, accessible and flexible childcare.

“Cost is a particular issue for parents living on low incomes. Childcare is so expensive it’s becoming a luxury that only families earning a very good wage can comfortably afford.”