Scotland's referendum: What are the issues around childcare?

Childcare has been highlighted as an issue that really matters in the independence debate.

First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said there would be a childcare revolution in an independent Scotland. The pro-Union parties believe the Scottish government already has the power to improve childcare.

Here, we bring together the main stories, explainers and official documents covering the issue.

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girl eating a snack
What's the current set up?

All three and four-year-olds in Scotland are entitled to 12.5 hours per week of free childcare. That will increase to 15 hours in August, and be extended to vulnerable two-year-olds.

Find out more....

How much does childcare cost?

What powers does Scotland have?

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What could change post-Yes?

In the first budget of an SNP government after independence, about half of two-year-olds would receive 600 hours of childcare a year and by the end of the second parliament, all pre-school children from the age of one would receive 1,140 hours of free childcare a year.

Find out more....

White Paper: Education, skills and employment

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What do the pro-Union parties have to say?

Labour says it would extend free childcare for three and four-year-olds to 25 hours a week for working parents, paid for by a levy on banks. The coalition government at Westminster, which includes the Tories and the Lib Dems, announced in March plans to offer families a new childcare subsidy worth up to £2,000 per child. It claims that will help about 210,000 families in Scotland.

Find out more...

What the pro-Union parties are saying

Childcare subsidy scheme boosted

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Who is saying what, including you?

Politicians, academics, industry experts and members of the public have had much to say about the current childcare system and what might happen to it in the event of a "Yes" vote.

Find out more.....

Views of mums on post-Yes childcare plan

Views of experts on post-Yes childcare

Experts examine referendum claims

Childcare plan 'needs more funding'

Government childcare plan questioned

Report outlines childcare cash impact

Salmond outlines childcare 'savings'

The Danes and their childcare system

Experts from business and education debated childcare issues

Private and voluntary sector nurseries say they are losing on average £1,000 per child per year

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Big reading - reports in full
  • ... and for more reading on the referendum debate click through the BBC'sReferendum library

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Scotland Live

  1.  
    12:28: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    It will be a dry, but somewhat cloudy afternoon for most of the country .

    The best of the sunshine will be in the east, across Aberdeenshire, Angus and the Borders although there could be some showers.

    Temperatures will range between 18C to 21C.

    You can watch a full forecast here.

     
  2.  
    12:02: John Beattie BBC Scotland

    Join me live on Radio Scotland where I'll be discussing the referendum, in particular the economy. I'll be joined by campaigners from both sides.

    Tune in here.

     
  3.  
    11:59: Hanging up their kettle

    After more than three decades of entertaining Scottish schoolchildren, The Singing Kettle will embark on their final tour this Christmas.

    Singing Kettle

    Laura Pettigrew reflects on a group who have brought fun and laughter to families for 30 years.

     
  4.  
    11:42: Debate finished

    The Radio 5 Live debate from Dundee has now ended.

    But here at Scotland Live we still want to hear your views on what you heard from the Caird Hall, or indeed anything else referendum-related.

    Get in touch via Twitter using #ScotlandLive, email us at newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk or text on 80295.

     
  5.  
    11:31: Dundee debate

    Undecided voters in the audience are being asked by presenter Victoria Derbyshire whether they have made up their minds.

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Of the seven who answered, three say they are now more inclined to vote "Yes", two that they will probably vote "No" and one remains undecided.

    One "undecided" voter admits he has already voted "Yes" in the postal vote.

     
  6.  
    11:26: The Press and Journal

    tweets: Woman's body found in Cairngorms loch.

    Read the full story here.

     
  7.  
    11:18: Dundee debate - your views

    Adam from Northern Ireland: If Scotland becomes independent Northern Ireland will be even more disconnected from the rest of the UK. This will make it harder for the UK to work as a country, it may in fact lead to Northern Ireland becoming independent and realistically this isn't feasible economically or politically because of the huge divides that still exist.

    James Guild: May I point out Panama, going by the IMF table of countries of the world's financial stability, is ranked 7th in the world...it proves 'dollarisation' works. I believe that 'sterlingisation' is the way forward for Scotland. Why the continual project fear?

     
  8.  
    11:14: Ferry site plans

    More than 20 developers have expressed an interest in taking over the site of Stranraer's former ferry terminal.

    The East Pier has been vacant since Stena Line moved its operation to Cairnryan in 2011.

    Stranraer harbour

    Any development is expected to include a mix of commercial, retail and residential use.

    The deadline for any development proposals is next month.

     
  9.  
    #ScotlandLive 10:59: Get involved

    @AndyMurrayScott tweets: Prof Curtis - Pollsters have unique problem with indy ref. polls but Yes making progress. Yes at 45 or 47 all to play for.

    @trethewey20: #ScotlandDecides Please answer what happens when SNP are not the government.Because everything so far is based on SNP policies.

    @Marty_Mc: #No don't want a better Scotland, they want a better UK at the expense of those in Scotland.

    @JudgementalBast: Why has no one mentioned the 2 Scots banks that collapsed? and how an independent Scotland would have handled it?

     
  10.  
    10:54: Jim Spence BBC Sport

    tweets: Thoughts folks on @St_Johnstone_FC being fined €18.000 by UEFA for someone flying a Palestinian flag in the crowd.

     
  11.  
    10:50: Digital hub for Highlands

    A project to test new superfast computer technology is to be piloted in the Highlands.

    Broadband

    A new digital hub will be linked up to computer clusters in other parts of the UK and the rest of the world.

    The organisers of the project say it will allow companies in the Highlands to be able to link into computer technology previously unavailable and help local businesses tap into new markets.

     
  12.  
    10:49: Jamie McIvor BBC Scotland local government correspondent

    A controversial new restriction on cars in Glasgow has earned the city council at least £800,000 in just two months.

    Nelson Mandela Place

    Since the end of June cars have been banned from going through Nelson Mandela Place, near Queen Street Station, for much of the day.

    The Glasgow Restaurant Association wants the city council to reconsider the restriction as it fears it is deterring business.

    The council says the bus gate will remain but hopes to reduce the number of cars going through it.

     
  13.  
    Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 10:41: Get involved

    Tom Dowds emailed Scotland Live: Since the main political parties have decided to each offer more, as yet unspecified, devolution, the choice seems clear on 18 September. Is Scotland's future to be decided by people representing all shades of opinion after a Yes vote, or, in the event of a No vote, is it to become a party political football to be kicked about at Westminster?

    What do you think? Tweet us using #ScotlandLive, text 80295 or email us here.

     
  14.  
    10:38: Cyclist injured

    A major road in Dundee was closed for several hours this morning after a cyclist was seriously hurt in a crash with a car.

    The male cyclist suffered head injuries in the collision on the city's Riverside Drive at about 07:20.

    Riverside Drive

    The 50-year-old was taken to Ninewells Hospital by paramedics and diversions around Perth Road were put in place.

    The road reopened around 10:30.

     
  15.  
    #ScotlandLive 10:28: Get involved

    @MrMalky tweets: The NHS is being privatised. These MPs are lying to the people. It is 70%+ privatised.

    @aoshay Pharmacist says he can do his job well bcause NHS is ran in Scotland, but has security of being part of something bigger.

     
  16.  
    10:21: NHS and the referendum

    Voters in Dundee are discussing the future of the NHS in an independent Scotland with a panel that includes Scottish government sport and equalities minister Shona Robison and Dundee Labour MP Jenny Marra.

    BBC debate in Dundee

    Tell us what you think by emailing here, texting 80295 or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  17.  
    #ScotlandLive 10:11: Get involved

    The debate in Dundee is now under way.

    Tell us what you think by emailing here, texting 80295 or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  18.  
    10:09: Radio 5 Live debate

    You can watch this morning's Radio 5 Live independence debate from the Caird Hall in Dundee, hosted by Victoria Derbyshire, here on Scotland Live by clicking on the link above.

    You can also watch on BBC Two Scotland and the BBC News Channel, or listen on Radio 5 Live.

     
  19.  
    10:05: Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    While Radamel Falcao's loan move to Manchester United and Danny Welbeck's transfer to Arsenal were the big talking points in England, transfer deadline day in Scotland was a much quieter affair with the will he/won't he transfer of Stefan Scepovic to Celtic sparking interest late on.

    How did your team do? Who should they have signed? Who are you looking forward to seeing in action in Scotland? Let us know on Twitter using #ScotlandLive, by texting 80295 or send us an email.

     
  20.  
    09:50: Referendum 'assault' video

    A video has emerged which appears to show a supporter of the United Kingdom kicking out at a female protestor.

    Confrontation video

    The footage is claimed to have been taken during a confrontation in Glasgow's Argyle Street on Saturday.

    It is said to show a group of "Yes" supporters confronting members of a right wing organisation who were speaking in favour of the Union.

    A man can be seen kicking out at a woman who had apparently tried to grab his megaphone.

    A man had been arrested in connection with an allegation of assault and a report sent to prosecutors.

     
  21.  
    09:38: Dundee debate

    At 10am, Victoria Derbyshire presents a live debate on the Scottish Referendum from the Caird Hall in Dundee.

    Three hundred BBC Radio 5 Live listeners will have the chance to put their points to a panel of high profile pro-independence and pro-Union supporters.

    Victoria Derbyshire

    You can listen live on BBC Radio 5 Live.

     
  22.  
    09:30: Marianne Taylor BBC Scotland news

    Don't forget, by clicking on the Scotland Live link, you'll go through to our full live page with its enhanced video, audio and picture capabilities.

    Screenshot
     
  23.  
    09:20: Being a burden - your views

    Mary Berry has said she wants her family to give her "a pill" when she becomes a burden. Here's what you think:

    Jude from Dunblane: My dad's the life and soul of the party at 84. He still looks after his family. Still playing golf and carries his clubs. We cherish him very much. Perfect gent. Why should he get the pill?

    H in Edinburgh: What a stupid comment Mary Berry made. Elderly people feel burdensome and lonely as it is with selfish people like Ms Berry putting ideas into people's heads.

    Join the debate by calling 0500 92 95 00, emailing morningcallscotland@bbc.co.uk or texting 80295.

     
  24.  
    09:11: Murray back on form

    Andy Murray believes he is almost back to peak form after defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach the US Open quarter-finals.

    Murray beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

    The Scot played some impressive tennis as he won 7-5 7-5 6-4 at Flushing Meadows to set-up a clash with world number one Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.

    Murray said: "I don't feel like I'm that far away from playing my best tennis."

    "Obviously winning matches does build confidence. I played against some very good players this year and lost a few close matches."

     
  25.  
    08:57: Last show for Singing Kettle

    Children's entertainers The Singing Kettle have announced they are to stop performing from early next year.

    Husband and wife team Artie Trezise and Cilla Fisher, who founded the group in 1982, retired in 2013.

    Cilla Fisher and Arty Tresize take their last bow as members of the Singing Kettle

    However, the shows continued with the two other long-term cast members Gary Coupland and Kevin Macleod and new recruit Anya Scott-Rodgers.

    The group has now said their Christmas tour will be their last, with a final show in Aberdeen in February.

     
  26.  
    08:49: What the papers say

    A new poll suggesting the Yes campaign is just three points from victory in the independence referendum makes the front pages of the Scottish Sun and The Times.

    Newspapers 2 September

    Elsewhere, the Daily Record leads with a woman claiming her suicidal mother was given inadequate support by the NHS 24 helpline shortly before she killed herself.

    Read more in our daily review.

     
  27.  
    08:40: Campaign trail

    With just over two weeks to go until the independence referendum, it's another busy day on the campaign trail.

    Scottish and union flags

    First Minister Alex Salmond will set out his vision of the gains of independence for the food and drink industry on a visit to Eden Mill distillery and brewery in Guardbridge, Fife.

    Meanwhile, shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran and Labour MSP Iain Gray will be at Glasgow's Tennent Caledonian Breweries to highlight jobs and opportunities they say will be available as part of the UK.

     
  28.  
    08:31: Transfer round-up

    Celtic's late move for Manchester City striker John Guidetti is still to be rubber-stamped this morning as the paperwork for the loan deal was not processed in time for the 23:00 transfer deadline.

    John Guidetti

    If the transfer is approved Guidetti will be paraded alongside Serbian striker Stefan Scepovic, who finally completed his £2.2m move to Glasgow late last night.

    The champions have offloaded Teemu Pukki, Amido Balde, Holmbert Fridjonsson, Jackson Irvine and Dylan McGeough on loan deals.

    Ross County have also been busy - despite not having a manager - with Darren Barr, Michael Gardyne and Jackson Irvine all signing with the Staggies.

     
  29.  
    08:21: Morning Call

    This morning we're talking about the elderly. Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry, who is 79, says she does not want to live beyond 90 and would like her children to be able to give her "a pill" if she becomes a burden to her family.

    Louise White asks: Is Mary right to worry about becoming a burden as she gets older?

    Morning Call graphic

    Elsewhere, following yesterday's Scottish skin cancer statistics, showing a doubling of the disease in the last 30 years, we're asking why we are still not getting the message.

    Lines are open now. Call 0500 92 95 00, email morningcallscotland@bbc.co.uk or text 80295.

     
  30.  
    08:10: Lucy Adams BBC News

    Thousands of people have registered to vote in Scotland in the past week.

    Local registration centres have said in recent days they have received tens of thousands of applications.

    Polling card

    Residents have until midnight on Tuesday to register for the 18 September referendum.

    Figures obtained by the BBC's Scotland 2014 show in the past seven days Glasgow received more than 9,000 applications, Renfrewshire 5,000, and Shetland and Orkney almost 1,000.

     
  31.  
    08:06: Traffic update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    In Dundee, an accident on Riverside Drive near the roadworks means traffic is very slow in both directions.

    In Fife, the A92 is partially blocked at Thornton - there's a broken down HGV resulting in delays in both directions.

     
  32.  
    08:03: Weather outlook BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    A chilly start in parts of the east, especially the Borders, otherwise a mild, mainly dry start to the day with plenty of fine weather to come.

    Cloud will break to give some sunshine, the best of it over Aberdeenshire, Fife and the Borders. The Western Isles, north west Highlands and Northern Isles will be cloudier, with a few spots of rain driven in on a fresh to strong south-westerly wind.

    Temperatures will range from 15C in Lerwick to 21C in Inverness and Aviemore.

     
  33.  
    07:57: Welcome Marianne Taylor BBC Scotland news

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland Scotland Live. We'll be here until 18:00 with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

    You can keep in touch using Twitter #ScotlandLive, via email or by text on 80295.

     

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