Jan 12th, 2017
Make Childcare Fair
By Nicole G
Right now, Scottish children are losing out on help and education all because of when they were born.
A Scottish Government rule means that kids in Scotland get free childcare from the term after they turn 3 until they get to school. But that means that kids born late in the school year end up with hundreds of hours less. Leaving them struggling to catch up, and their parents with as much as £3000 extra in childcare costs.
It’s daft, unfair, and totally fixable.
Right now, Mark McDonald, the Government’s childcare minister, is reviewing how it works. A simple change to the rules to make things fair already has the support of politicians across parliament. A huge public outcry could force him to step in and make sure all children are treated equally.
Our voices are the final link in the chain. Will you sign the petition asking him to make sure all children have a fair start in life? It only takes 20 seconds to add your name:
The Government have said they’ll increase funding for childcare. But unless they fix this flaw in the system, it’ll only grow the unfair gap in how much help different children get. Nobody should be treated differently just because of when their birthday is, and together we can push the Government to step in and sort this out.
Charities, like Children in Scotland, have already called on Mark McDonald to change this. MSPs from almost all parties agree. But Mark hasn’t made up his mind yet. Imagine the impact when a petition, signed by all of us, lands on his desk. He’ll see how much people across Scotland want him to take action to fix this unfair rule.
PS: Here’s a bit more detail (taken from the BBC) on how the system is unfair at the moment:
A child born in August receives a full two years, or 1,200 hours, of government-funded provision before starting school
But a child born in September will receive only 18 months, or 1,000 hours
And a child born in January will receive only 15 months, or 800 hours.
So a family whose child’s birthday is in January receive 9 months less support than one whose birthday is in August. That can’t be right!