Scottish private nurseries call for equal funding

Scottish nurseries in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector are calling on the Scottish government to give them the same funding as council-run settings.

In 2016 the Scottish government pledged funding for 1,140 hours of childcare each year for all three- to five-year-old pre-school children in Scotland, with plans to extend this to one- and two-year-olds. However, PVI settings receive less funding per child to deliver the places than council-run settings.

The 2020 Together campaign group has launched a video to highlight the situation, and a manifesto calling for change. Demands include closing the funding gap between council-run and PVI nurseries, a fairer system of staff pay, and the establishment of an independent funding body to ensure future fairness and equality. The group is also calling on the government to work with nurseries to deliver extra funding for children with additional support needs, and make it clear that all nurseries are valued in the same way in its public messaging.

“The difference in the hourly rate has caused massive staffing problems. People leave for the public sector because they need to earn more. It’s the impact on the children, who lose people they have built relationships with,” said  Karen Flynn, area manager at Kirktonholme Childcare and part of the 2020 Together campaign group.

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