Childcare will be “transformed” in an independent Scotland, saving families up to £5,000, Alex Salmond claimed yesterday
Under SNP plans, all three and four-year-olds and about half of two-year-olds will be entitled to 1,140 hours of childcare a week – 30hrs a week for the 38 weeks of the school year – by the end of the first parliament.
By the end of the second parliament the package would extend to all pre-school children from the age of one.
The First Minister said: “Childcare is expensive but with this plan, a parent saves almost £5,000 a year for a one-year-old and more than £2,000 for each two, three and four-year-old.
“And that is before you add in the extra income families will be able to earn because they will have enough childcare to allow them to get back to work.
“By voting to believe in ourselves, we can seize the chance to transform childcare.”
Mr Salmond said the policy would be funded through a combination of women returning to work and through savings from independence.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said there was no substance to the promise as Mr Salmond had refused to show any modelling explaining how the policy would be funded.
He said: “Today he says that his plans would be delivered from savings in the white paper – the money from which he has already allocated many times to many different policy pledges. This is the stuff of nonsense and parents deserve better.”
Labour MSP Jackie Baillie said independent Scottish Parliament researchers had “proved beyond doubt that his numbers do not add up”.