THERE has been much talk about the Scottish Government’s commitment to almost doubling early learning and childcare provision from 600 to 1,140 hours for every three and four-year-old and eligible two-year old in Scotland by 2020.

Much of this has been extremely positive.

However, I thought it would be helpful to inform constituents about the choices you will have. Firstly, you can use the hours in a nursery.

Secondly, you could choose to use a childminder. 

Thirdly, you could use a mix of both. This expansion is not ring-fenced to nursery spending.

Within Inverclyde, at the end of 2017 there were 54 registered childminders who had 411 children in their care from 310 local families.

These figures, provided by Inverclyde Childminding Network, show the vital role childminders play in providing childcare to my constituents.

Nursery provision might not be the best option for many parents for a whole host of reasons. Therefore knowing that there are other services available is important.

As it stands, these 1,140 hours follow the child and not the local authority — meaning it is the parents’ decision as to how these hours are spent.

This is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to getting it right for every child.

By understanding that nurseries might not be the optimal option for every child, nor all parents, so childminding services are integral to supporting every child locally and nationally.