Private nurseries in decline as childcare expansion nears
The number of private childcare providers has dropped by 362 in the last year, according to Scottish Conservative comparison of the latest Care Inspectorate data.
The figures show that the number of active childcare providers, including childminders, childcare agencies and nurseries, has dropped by 6 percent in the last year, from 6475 to 6113.
Specifically, the number of private nurseries and childcare agencies has dropped by 5 per cent, down from 1172 in 2017 to 1110 in 2018.
This comes after private childcare providers have warned the SNP that their shambolic plan to expand childcare is about to ‘implode’, leaving them on the brink of closure.
The Scottish Government’s childcare expansion comes into force by 2020, when families will be entitled to 1140 hours per year of free early learning and childcare.
Alison Harris, Scottish Conservative children and young person spokesman said:
“The expansion of childcare cannot be delivered by the SNP without a massive increase in nursery provision, and yet private nurseries are in decline.
“This reduction in independent childcare providers totally undermines confidence that the SNP can deliver this policy.
“The SNP’s shambolic approach is pushing the remaining nurseries to the brink.
“The SNP must work with independent childcare providers so that no family misses out on this crucial support.
“While the SNP might be content with headlines, families are depending on delivery.”
Notes to editors:
Scottish Conservatives revealed last week that nurseries had written to the SNP government to say:
- ‘The partner providers are literally on their knees and I believe this ambitious policy is about to implode.’
- ‘If this plan goes ahead, there will be services who will definitely not survive 2018 never mind 2020. We are now fighting for survival.’
- Another said the way the process has been handled had left their business ‘in a precarious situation for the near future.’
Good news for Scotland’s economy despite SNP ‘spreading doom’ on Brexit
Unemployment has fallen substantially both in Scotland and the UK, despite the SNP “spreading doom” on the impact of Brexit.
New figures have revealed the number of people looking for a job north of the border has fallen by 14,000, while wages are also on the rise.
It means the unemployment rate fell to just 3.9 per cent for the period between June and August this year.
The UK-wide unemployment rate also fell considerably, and now stands at only four per cent.
The Office for National Statistics said pay rose by 3.1 per cent in the last quarter, outstripping the inflation level of 2.5 per cent.
The improved position comes despite the SNP relentlessly warning about the consequences of leaving the European Union.
Only yesterday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke in London to speculate about the impact, and reiterated her desire to reverse the June 2016 vote.
However, the Scottish Conservatives have now told the SNP government to stop the scare-mongering, and start examining the opportunities which will be presented once the Brexit process is complete.
Scottish Conservative shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart said:
“For all the Brexit-related scaremongering from the SNP, it appears the economy both in Scotland and the rest of the UK is performing well.
“This is in the face of an SNP government which is refusing to examine the opportunities of Brexit, and using it only to spread doom and rabble-rouse for independence.
“These figures do fluctuate, but this encouraging news at least suggests there could well be a good future for Scotland’s economy once we’ve left the European Union.”
Notes to editors:
The statistics were released this morning: