Stirling SNP politicians have praised the work from Stirling Council officers and childcare providers in confirming that the Council will offer 1,140 hours of free childcare as of August 2020.
The rollout of doubling the number of free childcare hours was an SNP government commitment, with additional funds being made to local authorities to roll out the increased service.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the Scottish Government relaxed the August 2020 target for local authorities to introduce the doubling of childcare hours from 600 to 1,140.
However, Stirling Council has confirmed that the service will be provided from August, with letters going to parents and carers with guidance on how the arrangements will work.
Commenting, Stirling SNP MSP Bruce Crawford said:
“This was an SNP government commitment, but it was never going to be easy to introduce. I have worked closely with Stirling Council and with local childcare providers over the past few years. I have been impressed with the way in which officials have handled this rollout, and where there have been challenges along the way, they have worked to overcome them.
“The confirmation that Stirling families will benefit from the doubling of free childcare from next month is a great achievement, and I thank all those working in childcare provision for getting us to this point. This will make a huge difference to families who are often forced into making difficult decisions as they juggle childcare and work or other needs.”
Stirling SNP MP Alyn Smith added:
“This is very good news, and part of a wider approach from the SNP in making sure that Scotland is the best possible place to grow up in.
“Since being re-elected in 2016, the SNP government has introduced the baby box, doubled free childcare and early learning, invested heavily in closing the attainment gap in our schools, and has extended free school meals. All of this combines to an approach that seeks to expand the life chances of our children and young people.
“I too would like to thank our childcare professionals for working so hard over the past couple of years into making today’s announcement possible. Make no mistake, this will improve the quality of life for many families and will help to tackle poverty for many of those who are struggling to get the balance they need too.”