Yousaf draws on SNP election plan for childcare
Humza Yousaf has remodelled a package of SNP measures to help young families as a key plank of his leadership campaign.
Mr Yousaf has drawn on a policy pledge made by the party in the run-up to the 2021 Holyrood election to offer free childcare to one and two-year-olds.
He says would roll-out a £25 million-a-year fund to help with the costs of early years childcare for parents returning to work and will prioritise childcare expansion for 1 and 2 year olds.
Mr Yousaf’s ‘Helping Hand Fund’ would offer parents returning to work a £500 loan towards the first months of childcare costs, supporting household budgets while they await their first pay slip, to be paid back when the child leaves childcare – helping support families with young children in the Tory Cost of Living Crisis.
The fund would be available for all children under three years who are not yet eligible for the SNP Government’s 1,140 hours of free, high quality childcare.
On top of this commitment, he is also vowing to use his first budget as Scotland’s First Minister to accelerate the roll out of free early learning for all 1 and 2 year olds for up to 22 hours a week, all year round by by utilising both local authority and PVI sector nurseries on an equitable funding basis.
He said: “Young families in Scotland are being hit hard by the Cost of Living Crisis.
“As a parent myself, I know how hard it is for many going back to work while juggling the commitments of childcare and employment.
“For those on low incomes in particular the upfront costs of childcare, transport and higher household bills are serious financial barriers stopping many parents getting back to work – especially in those first few months after returning to work when households budgets are stretched.”