Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, welcomes the news of a confirmed package of support from the Scottish Government which includes a new £6.5 million Childcare Sector Omicron Impacts Fund to provide one-off grants to the childcare sector this financial year.
This fund will make one-off grants available to all private and third sector day care of children providers and all childminding services who were registered with the Care Inspectorate on 31st December 2021. The one-off grants are in recognition of the challenging circumstances in which these services have been operating.
‘Childcare providers across Scotland have experienced acute challenges throughout the pandemic, and I am pleased that funding has been announced to help private and third sector childcare providers.
‘I know many childcare providers in West Lothian have experienced financial difficulty as demand for services decreased during the pandemic. During the previous periods when pupils were not in schools and out of school care wasn’t open and with more parents and carers continuing to work from home and not needing child care, this has put even more pressure on hard stretched but vital third sector and private child care providers, and I hope this funding will alleviate some of the stress.
‘I appreciate these grants will not address the deeper sustainability challenges that some providers are facing, however, I hope that the new Fund will provide some temporary support as demand and absence levels begin to return to a more normal level. ‘
Further details about grant levels, the application process and confirmation of the timelines for the application window will be provided later in February.
As with previous COVID financial support schemes for the childcare sector the grant amounts will vary according to the registered size (Care Inspectorate registered places) of each service.
In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the Fund then please direct these to the ELCPartnershipForum@gov.scot