Challenge of child welfare

Last week, Hugh Henry MSP of the Scottish Labour party led a debate in the Scottish Parliament around childcare provision in Scotland.

At Children in Scotland, we know childcare is an issue that affects a huge number of families in Scotland, with many parents struggling between working extra hours, full-time hours or at all to ease financial pressures in the home, and finding flexible, affordable childcare that works for them.

The debate was generally constructive and consensual and we are encouraged that all parties seem willing to put aside political differences to work together to take forward this vital issue.

We were, however, disappointed to hear that Mr Henry's proposal for a Scottish Childcare Commission appeared to be rejected out of hand by the Scottish government as we feel that a commission could play a vital role in delivering the cross-party commitment to making childcare in Scotland world class.

We urge those in the sector, and parents, to act on education secretary Mike Russell's call for ideas. For our part, we will continue to work, independently and with partners, to keep the childcare issue on the political agenda.

Jackie Brock, chief executive, Children in Scotland.

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