Scotland's referendum: What are the issues around childcare?

Childcare has been highlighted as an issue that really matters in the independence debate.

First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond said there would be a childcare revolution in an independent Scotland. The pro-Union parties believe the Scottish government already has the power to improve childcare.

Here, we bring together the main stories, explainers and official documents covering the issue.

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girl eating a snack
What's the current set up?

All three and four-year-olds in Scotland are entitled to 12.5 hours per week of free childcare. That will increase to 15 hours in August, and be extended to vulnerable two-year-olds.

Find out more....

How much does childcare cost?

What powers does Scotland have?

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What could change post-Yes?

In the first budget of an SNP government after independence, about half of two-year-olds would receive 600 hours of childcare a year and by the end of the second parliament, all pre-school children from the age of one would receive 1,140 hours of free childcare a year.

Find out more....

White Paper: Education, skills and employment

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What do the pro-Union parties have to say?

Labour says it would extend free childcare for three and four-year-olds to 25 hours a week for working parents, paid for by a levy on banks. The coalition government at Westminster, which includes the Tories and the Lib Dems, announced in March plans to offer families a new childcare subsidy worth up to £2,000 per child. It claims that will help about 210,000 families in Scotland.

Find out more...

What the pro-Union parties are saying

Childcare subsidy scheme boosted

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Who is saying what, including you?

Politicians, academics, industry experts and members of the public have had much to say about the current childcare system and what might happen to it in the event of a "Yes" vote.

Find out more.....

Views of mums on post-Yes childcare plan

Views of experts on post-Yes childcare

Experts examine referendum claims

Childcare plan 'needs more funding'

Government childcare plan questioned

Report outlines childcare cash impact

Salmond outlines childcare 'savings'

The Danes and their childcare system

Experts from business and education debated childcare issues

Private and voluntary sector nurseries say they are losing on average £1,000 per child per year

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Big reading - reports in full
  • ... and for more reading on the referendum debate click through the BBC'sReferendum library

More on This Story

Referendum issues

More Scotland politics stories

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Smith Commission Live

  1.  
    08:52: 10 minutess to go...

    The press are setting up for Smith Commission conference, which begins around 09:00.

    Press setting up for Smith Commission
    Press setting up for Smith Commission

    You can watch the live stream of the conference by clicking on the live coverage section on this page.

     
  2.  
    08:45: Income tax

    Professor Richard Kerley, Chair of the Centre of Scottish Public policy, told Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland what would happen if the Scottish Parliament gets full control over income tax rates and bands.

    He said: "How it would work in practice is to build on the arrangements that are currently being put in place under the 2012 act for the Scottish Parliament to levy a proportion of income tax within Scotland. Whether that would be exercised through HMRC is clearly still to be determined.

    "In effect, if what we are being told is the entry point for income tax - that is the personal allowance - retains a UK-wide level, then over and above that it would be up to the Scottish Parliament to recommend the rate in the pound of income tax and the bands at which income tax is levied."

     
  3.  
    08:29: Analysis - Douglas Fraser

    'The Scottish Parliament has had 15 years of spending power with very little taxation accountability.

    Scottish money

    'That's about to change, a lot, if the Smith Commission "heads of agreement" translate into workable new devolution legislation.

    'There is a political case for such radical changes.'

    Read the analysis of BBC Scotland's Business and Economy Editor Douglas Fraser

     
  4.  
    08:23: Who is Lord Smith?

    His name may be familiar to you after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as he served as chairman of the organising committee.

    Lord Smith of Kelvin

    Lord Smith of Kelvin was then appointed to oversee the process of devolving more powers to Scotland.

    Find out more about him.

     
  5.  
    08:18: Who was on the Commission?

    Ten people - two representatives each from the SNP, Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens - made up the Smith Commission.

    Lord Smith commission panel

    Find out who they were.

     
  6.  
    08:14: What is the commission?

    The recommendations of the Smith commission, chaired by Lord Smith of Kelvin, are to form the basis of UK government legislation on more Scottish powers although they would not be delivered until after the Westminster election in May 2015.

     
  7.  
    08:08: Analysis - What powers will Holyrood get? Glenn Campbell BBC Scotland news

    The Smith commission on further devolution has concluded its talks with the five political parties represented in the Scottish Parliament. They have reached agreement on a package of additional powers, which is to be announced in Edinburgh on Thursday.

    The commission's recommendations are expected to include:

    • the full devolution of income tax rates and bands, with the personal allowance (the threshold above which tax is paid) continuing to be set by the UK government
    • assigning a proportion of the VAT revenues raised in Scotland to the Scottish budget
    • giving Holyrood control of air passenger duty and - eventually - the aggregates tax
    • devolving welfare measures including attendance allowance, carers' allowance and some cold weather payments
    • retaining UK control of all the benefits being merged into universal credit, while introducing some devolved flexibility over aspects such as the frequency of payments
    • devolving the work programme
    • putting Holyrood in charge of its own elections, which could allow MSPs to give 16 and 17 year olds a vote in the 2016 Scottish Parliament election
     
  8.  
    08:04: Smith Commission

    The BBC understands the commission on devolving powers to the Scottish Parliament is to recommend it has full control over income tax rates and bands.

    Scottish Parliament

    The report is not expected to call for personal allowances - the threshold at which tax is paid - to be devolved.

    The Smith Commission, which was set up after the "No" vote in the independence referendum, reached an agreement at its final meeting in Edinburgh and its full report will be published on Thursday morning.

     
  9.  
    08:01: Good morning Graham Fraser BBC Scotland

    Good morning, and welcome to our live coverage of the Smith Commission.

     

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