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Summary

  1. MSPS took evidence from third sector organisations on the impact of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006
  2. Ministers were quizzed during topical questions
  3. MSPs debated the Land And Buildings Transaction Tax (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill for the final time before it was passed at decision time
  4. The Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill reached Stage 3 of its considerations before it was passed at decision time
  5. Labour MSP Cara Hilton used her member's debate to highlight the 'spiralling' childcare costs in Scotland

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. That concludes Holyrood Live's coverage

    That concludes Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on 8 March 2016.

    Holyrood at night

    We're back with the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee from 10am tomorrow morning.

    Until then have a good night.

  2. Local authorities must provide choice and flexibility says minister

    Ms Campbell says there is now a requirement on local authorities to provide choice and flexibility in relation to childcare provision.

    The child and young people minister details other measures the government are taking in this area.

    Childcare

    The minister says in less than three years the government has delivered significantly in delivering transfromative childcare.

    She says there are improvements in childcare delivery across local authorities. 

  3. 'We have massively expanded early learning and childcare'

    Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell says it is important parties work together on this issue despite their differences.

    Ms Campbell says the government has been ambitious to make sure children get the best start in life.

    Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell

    She says "we have massively expanded early learning and childcare" to 600 hours per year.

    The minister says the expansion has been fully funded. 

  4. Review of funding required - Tory MSP

    Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon says a fair system where everyone gets two years pre-school childcare will require a review of the funding.

    Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon

    Ms Scanlon says England's level of childcare support is three times higher than that of Scotland. 

    "I hope the minister addresses this in her closing speech", she says.

  5. Labour MSP calls for transformative plans for childcare

    Labour MSP Iain Gray says families need childcare that is flexible all year around at all ages and that is affordable, not just free. 

    Mr Gray says other countries provide childcare that does not grind to a halt when the school holidays start. 

    Labour MSP Iain Gray

    He says the onus is on the minister to signal a shift in the government's thinking. 

    The Labour MSP calls on the government not to boast about free pre-school hours but calls for a plan for the transformation in childcare that parents want and need.

  6. SNP MSP says Scottish government already has an ambitiouschildcare programme

    SNP MSP George Adam says the Scottish government already has an ambitious programme to give children in Scotland the very best start of life.

    SNP MSP George Adam

    He says raising the level of free childcare for three and four year olds to 600 hours, as well as for vulnerable two years olds, is ambitious.

  7. Affordability for parents

    Ms Hilton says she welcomes the expansion of preschool early education and childcare, but recognises too what it considers the lack of progress in ensuring that childcare is available that fits in with the lives of working parents and for children of all ages. 

    Children colouring with box of pencils in the foreground

    She highlights the calls of the Family and Childcare Trust for the Scottish Government to improve access and affordability for parents to ensure that parents and carers across Scotland have access to flexible, quality and affordable childcare for children of all ages. 

  8. 'Scotland needs a childcare policy designed to fit around working parents'

    Ms Hilton says Scotland needs a childcare policy designed to fit around working parents, not one to fit in an election leaflet. 

  9. Cost of childcare is rising at a significantly faster in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton is further concerned that, in Scotland, only 13% of local authority areas report having enough childcare for working parents and only 9% can provide childcare needed for disabled children. 

    Children playing in nursery

    The Dunfermline MSP says the cost of childcare is rising at a significantly faster rate than anywhere else in the UK.

  10. Childcare costs and availability in Britain

    Ms Hilton uses her motion to highlight the annual childcare costs survey published by the Family and Childcare Trust.

    Children in nursery

    The Labour MSP says the report provides the most comprehensive analysis of childcare costs and availability in Britain. 

    She is concerned at the finding that, while average childcare prices have risen only in line with inflation in the rest of the UK, with the cost of a part-time nursery place for a child under two up by 1.1%, in Scotland the price rose by 4.1%, with the average price of a part-time nursery place for a child under two and an after-school club for a five year old now costing £7,933 a year. 

  11. Appropriate time to have the debate

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton says it is very appropriate that this debate is happening in the evening because there is not much childcare available to parents who work at night.

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton

    She receives applause from those still in the chamber.

  12. 'Childcare Costs Spiralling in Scotland'

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton leads a member's debate entitle 'Childcare Costs Spiralling in Scotland'.

  13. Education Institutions should focus on the positives - minister

    Education Secretary Angela Constance says she encourages higher education institutions to focus on the positives of the bill.

    This bill seeks to ensure that all voices on campus are heard, she says. 

  14. Education secretary emphasises 'how much support the bill actually has'

    The minister says she has sought very hard to achieve a level of consensus.

    Ms Constance says universities have to be at the forefront of tackling inequality.

    Student graduation

    She says she wants to emphasise how much support this bill actually has.

    The minister says many staff, students and stakeholders signalled their appetite for change.

  15. Minister says 'this bill has not been without its problems'

    Education Secretary Angela Constance says: "This bill has not been without its problems."

    Education Secretary Angela Constance

    Ms Constance says: "That does mean the final destination will be appreciated all the more."

    She says she "could have turned wine into water" without persuading the Tories about the merits of this bill.

  16. Labour support the Higher Education Governance Bill

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin says his party will vote to pass the bill at decision time.

    Mr Griffin says the government's proposals have caused an unnecessarily difficult process.

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin

    He points out there was  "bad drafting, ministerial overreach and incompetence" in the progress of this bill.

    The Labour MSP says amendments to have those at the top and bottom of the pay scale deciding on the renumeration of principals.

    He commends the minister for listening and making changes and says his party will be scrutinising every detail as the policy moves into practice.

  17. Tory MSP say this is 'legislation looking for a problem'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon says this is the first time she has "found legislation looking for a problem". 

    Mary Scanlon

    Ms Scanlon says every single higher education institution in the whole of Scotland criticised the bill.

    She says she is embarrassed someone came up with the proposal to tell our world class universities to advertise on the internet, although she concedes that was removed at Stage 3.

  18. 'Absolutely outrageous that such staggering pay inequality still exists' at HIEs

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton say the bill is by no means perfect, but it does provide a real opportunity to improve the democracy, transparency and accountability of Scotland's higher education institutions.

    Ms Hilton points out the gender pay gap at senior levels in HIEs 

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton

    She says it is "absolutely outrageous that such staggering pay inequality still exists."

    The Labour MSP says she is disappointed amendments on quotas and pay were rejected by the government. 

  19. 'I believe we got to a better place than where we were'

    SNP MSP George Adam says: "I believe we got to a better place than where we were."

    SNP MSP George Adam

    Mr Adam praises the democratisation process and the giving of a voice to everyone on the campus.