Parents urged to share concerns over hike in childcare fees

Councillor Stephen Curran is holding open sessions for parents to express their concerns.
Councillor Stephen Curran is holding open sessions for parents to express their concerns.

Southside parents are invited to share concerns on Glasgow City Council’s hike to nursery fees following the move that will see parents pay double for childcare.

Labour councillor for Newlands and Auldburn Stephen Curran said parents had been shocked to receive letters from nurseries explaining the rising cost.

He pointed out that the increase was hike pushed through the council at February’s budget meeting.

And he’s now holding open advice sessions for nursery parents to share their concerns with him.

Cllr Curran said: “It’s vital for councillors to understand the effect of this decision before ploughing ahead with the fees increase.

“These drop-in surgeries are in school campuses with nurseries affected by the rise and any local parent is welcome to discuss their own situation and worries about the increase.”

The two open advice sessions next week will be held in pre-12 campuses where council nurseries sit alongside primary schools:

• Tuesday, May 8, 6.30-7.30pm, Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre/Tinto Primary School, 61 Nether Auldhouse Road, Glasgow.

• Wednesday, May 9, 6.30-7.30pm, Lime Tree Day Nursery/Merrylee Primary School, 50 Friarton Road, Glasgow.

Councillor Curran added: “Working parents could pay up to £186 more a month if the plans are not addressed. Many already find money tight and now worry about having to change jobs or find another nursery to make ends meet.

“The rise affects additional hours beyond any ‘free’ allocation families already receive. Nurseries like Shaw Mhor and Lime Tree in this Newlands ward area will see a big impact on local families who rely on that early years childcare.

“Families want to use the council’s own nurseries to give their children the best start in education before starting school.

“Councillors recently agreed some limited mitigation for families on lower incomes who would be hit by the fee rise, but the message so far seems to be ‘too little, too late’ from parents.

“I hope to hear more views at these advice sessions before the decision really takes hold.”

Councillor curran explained that the Council’s SNP minority administration won a vote to increase childcare fees to £5 an hour by August 2019, supported by Green councillors at the Glasgow budget meeting earlier this year. Labour councillors voted to oppose the increase.

He added: “Labour councillors proposed to spend £6 million more on education than the SNP – with no rise for nursery parents – but all councillors are now left with the impact of this decision on working parents.”

Councillor Curran plans another nursery parents’ advice session at Ashpark Primary School alongside the Jimmy Dunnachie Family Learning Centre in Arden later this month.