Scotland politics

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.

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.

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How much does childcare cost?

What powers does Scotland have?

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.

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White Paper: Education, skills and employment

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.

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What the pro-Union parties are saying

Childcare subsidy scheme boosted

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.

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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

Big reading - reports in full

  • ... and for more reading on the referendum debate click through the BBC'sReferendum library