Nicola Sturgeon to say SNP childcare plans are 'transformational'
Nicola Sturgeon will describe SNP plans to deliver a "wraparound" system of childcare as "truly transformational" for working families.
The SNP leader believes the pledge will be a central pillar in efforts to deliver economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking while campaigning in Ayr today, Sturgeon is expected to praise the expansion of childcare already undertaken, which is hoped to be completed by August this year.
The party's manifesto has set out plans to delivery a system of "wraparound" childcare - providing year-round care before and after school.
The least well-off families will pay nothing, with others being asked to make a "fair and affordable" contribution.
Free early years education will also be expanded to all one and two-year-olds, starting with children from low-income households.
Sturgeon is expected to say: "When it comes to Scotland’s long-term future, there can be no more important investment we make than in our young people - that’s why the SNP government is doing everything we can to give all children the best possible start in life.
"Childcare in Scotland is almost unrecognisable from the system the SNP inherited. By August this year, we’ll have completed the expansion of childcare provision to 1140 hours - benefitting tens of thousands of families the length and breadth of Scotland.
"Alongside our investments in rolling out free breakfasts and lunches to all primary school pupils, and our commitment to doubling the Scottish Child Payment, offering support to working families is one of the central pillars in our plans to drive Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.
"A re-elected SNP government will build a system of wraparound childcare, for which the least well-off families will pay nothing. This will be truly transformational in opening up employment opportunities for parents - benefiting both the families themselves and the wider economy.
"We will also expand free early years education to all one and two year olds, starting with children from low income households in this parliament."