Delegates at the STUC Congress in Inverness yesterday heard strong speeches from a number of delegates, calling for a change in the way childcare is delivered in Scotland.
Sarah Burton from Children in Scotland contributed to a session focused on the ‘There is a Better Way’ campaign. She referred to the recent report produced jointly with the Daycare Trust –
‘The Scottish Childcare Lottery report found only a fifth of local authorities with enough childcare to meet local demand and just one in 10 with enough childcare for parents who work outside normal office hours or live in rural areas’
Tricia Donnelly, Glasgow Trades Union Council, stresses how essential good childcare provision is for supporting people to get back into work, including accessing further education and training.
‘The Trades Council’s aim is to put childcare back on the Agenda as it has been absent for too long.
Childcare is what parents need in order to be able to go to work, but we need it to be affordable, available at times when we need it, including early mornings and later evenings, and accessible on a whole host of levels’
UNITE the union represents many members who work in the care sector themselves, where shift work brings other problems for parents.
Ann Farrell, UNITE
‘If you’re a high wage earner you’re not going to be able to access childcare. This is forcing our members particularly women out of the workplace and onto benefits because the demands of shift patterns further increase the costs.’
The fall in suitable childcare places, after school clubs, and inflexible provision which varies considerably across local authorities, all contributes to forcing parents out of the labour market. Scotland’s rising unemployment figures amongst women is testimony to that.
Ann Henderson, Assistant Secretary STUC ‘ Investment in childcare, from early years provision to the needs of families with teenagers, for children with additional support needs, and those with disabilities, is essential if we are to ensure women’s skills and talents fully contribute to Scotland’s economic future’
The Scottish Childcare Lottery: a Report on Childcare Costs and supply in Scotland https://www.childreninscotland.org.uk/members/docs/MSummaryChildcareCosts_EYBriefFinal.pdf
STUC Congress 2012 has given unanimous support to all the motions brought forward for debate on childcare by affiliated unions http://www.stuc.org.uk/congress-2012-inverness
Contact Ann Henderson Assistant Secretary STUC 0141 337 8100