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Debates and questions

S5W-30882: Rona Mackay (Strathkelvin and Bearsden)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 22 July 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, given that critical childcare was put in place as an emergency measure to provide childcare for keyworkers and vulnerable children while schools and childcare settings were closed, for how long this will continue to be provided.

Answered by: John Swinney 22 July 2020

As I set out on 16 July, the provision of critical childcare was at the heart of keeping Scotland going during lockdown. Without it, Scotland could not have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in the way we did. I am enormously grateful for the national effort to care for these children.

As formal and informal childcare options have opened up and schools prepare to re-open, we can now wind down this critical childcare provision.

On the assumption that schools re-open as currently planned, we have agreed with COSLA officials that local authorities will no longer be required to provide critical childcare from the week commencing 3 August. They can set their own end date from 3 August. I anticipate there will be period of time where local authorities will transition to accommodate the start of school.

I will write to the Education and Skills Committee to provide more detail.