Responding to the latest snapshot survey by the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA), Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP has warned of the potential for a “near wipeout” of childminders in Scotland.
The SCMA survey found:
- almost half of childminding businesses do not believe they will remain financially viable for more than six months without financial support or an increase in business;
- around 80% of childminders have experienced a ‘significant reduction’ or ‘reduction’ in children in their settings linked to Scottish Government guidance that parents should work from home;
and childminders are also experiencing an increase in operating costs and additional hours to meet the requirements of COVID-19 operating guidance.
Commenting, Ms Wishart said:
“Keeping childcare services going throughout this pandemic is going to be pivotal to recovery.
“Childminders are going to considerable expense and effort to ensure their premises are safe to allow these services to continue.
“This survey shows that there now is a real risk that they won’t see the other side of this pandemic. It could be a near wipeout, at the very moment they should be at the heart of the rollout of additional early learning and childcare. For children who have been starved of socialisation during lockdown, and parents who need flexible and high-quality childcare available if they are to keep their jobs, that would be an utter disaster.
“The Scottish Government need to step in, meaningfully and urgently.”