Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran said south of the Border, three and four-year olds had a statutory entitlement to 15 hours’ nursery education, but a formal agreement to achieve this in Scotland by 2010 had been delayed.
A recent survey found Scottish childcare costs were the highest in the UK.
Ms Curran said: “Childcare is of huge importance to women and families throughout Scotland and it is also of huge importance for the Scottish economy as it helps parents get to work.
“There is a real fear that childcare is becoming a luxury because too many families simply cannot afford it.
“Affordable, flexible childcare is a must for a modern economy and the SNP government are falling very far behind. In fact Scotland is now significantly behind the rest of the UK.”