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Date: 26 April 2012

Publicly-funded childcare is the key to making work pay for parents, says UNISON

Launch of UNISON Scotland education manifesto for local government elections

Universal childcare will help children achieve their full potential as well as make work pay for parents, says UNISON.

Launching the union’s education manifesto for May’s local election today (Thursday), Carol Ball, a child development officer in Glasgow and chair of UNISON’s Education Issues Group, said publicly-funded childcare is vital.

Carol Ball said: “Becoming a mother is one of the most important factors in explaining gender inequality in the labour market, as the high cost of childcare is a major barrier to work for many women.

“We need sufficient publicly-funded centres for children, from birth to compulsory school age, staffed by qualified early education and care workers. This would not only help women back into work, but it would provide a massive boost to the economy and help families lift themselves out of poverty.

“However, we need to make sure that work pays for those who deliver the service as well as those who use it, and publicly-funded childcare is the best way to ensure this happens.”

Mike Kirby, UNISON’s Scottish Secretary, said: “Parents have very little choice when it comes to childcare and nursery classes rarely coincide with the working time of part-time workers – particularly those who work shifts or irregular hours.

“The only way to end this inequality and ensure the best care for our children is to introduce affordable, universal childcare that is funded by the local authority and available to all.”


Thre manifesto is at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks/educationmanifesto.pdf