'Postcode lottery' over childcare in Scotland

As any working parent will be able to tell you, childcare costs are one of the biggest items of expenditure in their households.
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Wisbech - Cambridgeshire - England

April 17, 2012 - PRLog -- Finding reliable and affordable nursery facilities is a challenge in any part of the country but according to two children’s charities, Scottish parents are facing some of the highest childcare costs in Britain.  

The Scottish Childcare Postcode Lottery (http://www.simply-postcode-lookup.com/for_web.htm) report found that some local authorities were charging twice as much as others for daycare.   In some areas of Scotland, nursery prices were as high as southern England, with 25 hours of care over 50 weeks coming in at £11,688 being the most expensive.

The report, compiled by the Daycare Trust – a national childcare charity and Children in Scotland, found only a fifth of Scottish councils had enough daycare places to meet local demand.  It also revealed that, at £49 for 15 hours, the average price of after-school-care was higher than in England and Wales as a whole.

Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust, said: "Today, we are calling on the Scottish government to take the lead in implementing the Early Years Framework by legislating to provide a childcare place for every child.  We also call on the UK government to reverse its self-defeating childcare tax credit cut."

Bronwen Cohen, chief executive of Children in Scotland, added: "A universal entitlement to early childhood education and care, with subsidies to limit what parents pay themselves, would make the benefits of early learning available to every child.
"We are pleased to learn the Scottish government is joining representatives of other EU member states to look at how to implement the findings of the European Commission's Communication on Early Childhood Education and Care, which will help Scotland's childcare system "match the best in Europe" - the pledge made by the Scottish government before the election in 2011."

The SNP manifesto said the party would put "childcare for all" at the centre of its ambition for families.  They stated: "We will set out the steps we need to take to increase childcare support here in Scotland to match the best elsewhere in Europe."
A Scottish government spokesman said: "Since 2007, we have delivered real increases in free pre-school provision, benefiting around 100,000 children each year.  In addition, we're providing £4.5m over the next three years to local authorities to deliver additional early learning and childcare for all looked after two-year-olds; and a further £4.5m to promote community-based solutions to family support and childcare."

This is just another example of a postcode lottery (http://www.simply-postcode-lookup.com/geographic_data.htm) which happens over so many aspects of our daily lives.

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Source:Sam Smith
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Tags:Childcare, Childcare Costs, Scotland Childcare, Postcode Lottery, Nursery Places, Postcode software, Scotland
Industry:Family, Society, Business
Location:Wisbech - Cambridgeshire - England
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