Date published: April 1, 2012
Not only does Scotland have some of the highest childcare costs in Britain, but there is also a shortage of childcare faculties across the country, according to a joint report published by the Daycare Trust and Children in Scotland.
The Scottish Childcare Lottery states that childcare costs in Scotland are higher than in England and Wales, at an average of £101 based on 25 hours over 50 weeks of the year for a child under two, and £94 for a child over the age of two.
Unite/CPHVA Professional Officer, Gavin Fergie, said: 'How, in this day and age, when you are desperate to find work can you get work when there's no adequate childcare? The state should make it a priority'
The research also states that there is a greater difference in childcare costs between different regions of Scotland than in any other place in Britain, leaving parents struggling to afford places for their children.
Children in Scotland's Chief Executive, Brownwen Cohen, said: 'High-quality, accessible, affordable childcare is essential for Scottish families, who are paying among the highest childcare costs in the UK'.
The report recommends that the government makes it a requirement that local authorities carry out surveys in line with the Early Years Framework to gather data on the supply and quality of childcare for local children; introduce a charging policy for childcare that caps the financial contribution of parents on an equitable basis; introduces income- related charges that fit together with the fairness of the tax credit system; and lobbies Westminster to allow self-employed parents to claim childcare vouchers.
In addition, the Childcare Trust has found that up to 44000 fewer families are getting help with their childcare costs in the UK since cuts were made to the childcare part of the Working Tax Credits last year.
Last April, the claims that families could make for their childcare costs fell from 80% to 70%, representing a drop of more than £10 a week in the average family.
Chief Executive of the Childcare Trust, Anand Shukla, said: 'It is sheer folly that any parent has to leave work because they cannot afford to pay for their childcare',
Purnima Tanku, of the National Day Nurseries Association, added: 'High-quality childcare requires well qualified staff in the right number and right environment for children to thrive.'