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SNP ‘laughable’ progress on nursery expansion

The Scottish Conservatives have launched a withering attack on the SNP’s lack of progress on its promised nursery expansion.

A written parliamentary answer to Rachael Hamilton MSP has identified that, despite the SNP’s claims to build, expand, or refurbish 750 nurseries by 2021, they have so far only achieved 97.

The First Minister has herself previously promised the SNP would build, expand or refurbish 750 nurseries across Scotland over the course of the Parliament.

The written answer shows that in the last two years, since August 2017, only 97 nurseries have been built, extended or refurbished.

That represents only 13 percent of the SNP’s own target, with only two years to go to the 2021 deadline.

At this rate of progress, the SNP could fall short of the target by around 500 nurseries, underlining concerns of a massive capacity issue when the new expansion of childcare comes into force next year.

Rachael Hamilton, Scottish Conservative MSP for Berwickshire said:

 

“The SNP has made so little progress towards their own target on nursery capacity it is laughable.

“Nicola Sturgeon herself has promised that 750 nurseries will be built, expanded or refurbished by 2021 yet the SNP is nowhere near.

“The SNP has taken almost two years to upgrade or build 97 nurseries in total.

“With this kind of progress how on earth can they promise each child will have 1140 hours of childcare next year?

“Yet again it seems that there is a massive gulf between the SNP’s promises and the reality of their delivery.”

Ends

 

Notes to editors:

In June 2018 the First Minister said: ‘I can announce today that by the end of this Parliament, around 750 nurseries across the length and breadth of our country will be built, expanded or refurbished’ (The Courier, 9 June 2018, link).

Question S5W-22620 Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government how many nurseries in each local authority area have been (a) built, (b) expanded and (c) refurbished in each year since 2016.

Maree Todd: Scottish Futures Trust have been tracking Local Authorities Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) infrastructure capital projects on behalf of the Scottish Government ELC expansion programme since August 2017. This coincides with the first allocation of capital funding to local authorities to support the expansion to 1140 hours, which was provided for the 2017-18 financial year.

Authority

Refurb
Complete

Extension
Complete

New Build
Complete

Aberdeen City

0

0

0

Aberdeenshire

0

0

0

Angus

1

0

0

Argyll & Bute

1

1

0

Clackmannanshire

1

0

1

D&G

4

0

0

Dundee

1

0

0

East Ayrshire

0

1

1

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

1

East Lothian

4

0

1

East Renfrewshire

0

1

0

Edinburgh

3

0

0

Eilean Siar

0

2

0

Falkirk

8

0

0

Fife

2

1

1

Glasgow

3

0

0

Highland

9

1

1

Inverclyde

3

0

1

Midlothian

0

0

1

Moray

1

0

0

North Ayrshire

9

1

0

North Lanarkshire

1

0

0

Orkney

5

0

0

Perth and Kinross

0

0

3

Renfrewshire

2

0

1

Scottish Borders

4

1

0

Shetland

1

0

0

South Ayrshire

2

1

0

South Lanarkshire

0

0

0

Stirling

5

1

0

West Dunbartonshire

2

0

0

West Lothian

0

1

1

Scotland

72

12

13

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