Scottish Parliament election candidate for Renfrewshire North and West, Natalie Don, is backing the SNP’s proposed new ‘wraparound’ all year-round childcare system which will support parents to take up employment opportunities.

The SNP’s current expansion of free, high quality childcare provision to 1,140 hours – the same time a child spends in primary school – will be completed by August 2021.

If re-elected to form the next government, the SNP will further extend free early years childcare to all one and two-year-olds, with those from low-income families given first access.

The proposed new ‘wraparound’ childcare system, which will offer before and after school care, will see families on the lowest incomes paying nothing, while others will make fair and affordable contributions.

Natalie Don said: “Families throughout Renfrewshire experienced a tough year of disruption to their children’s learning, with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting that too many are still facing barriers in accessing affordable childcare.

“This will also go a long way in helping to provide more equality for women who often take on the lead parenting role in the household. Due to the unequal division of care in household, many of the restrictions we have faced as a result of Covid, such as the closure of schools, childcare settings and the inability to get informal childcare, has meant working parents have become full-time carers for their children and this has created new, additional demands and burdens on working mums. The wraparound childcare system will revolutionise this and increase employment opportunities for both parents.”

“I’ll children deserve equal access to education and that begins by ensuring our very youngest children are given the best possible opportunities to learn and be cared for while their parents are at work.

“In addition to the SNP’s investments in providing free breakfasts and lunches to primary school pupils and our commitment to doubling the Scottish Child Payment, offering transformational support needed by many families will open up employment opportunities for parents who currently cannot afford to work due to high childcare costs.

“The ‘wraparound’ childcare system will be a key part of the SNP’s plans to drive Scotland’s recovery and I look forward to it making a substantial contribution in enabling parents across Renfrewshire North and West to take up work, or work longer, and help to increase their family’s income as a consequence.