Why were a hundred or so in George Square to demand affordable childcare?

According to BBC England today:

Hundreds of protesters gathered in central London on Saturday to urge the government to reform the childcare sector and parental leave.

March of the Mummies demonstrators want “affordable childcare, flexible working and properly paid parental leave”.

The event was one of several marches held in cities across the UK including in Bristol, Glasgow and Norwich.


The Mummies were in Glasgow, in some number too.

Come to SNP Glasgow, Scotland to protest Tory policies? (Image: Colin Mearns, Newsquest)

Do they know about this?

Two significant measures by the Scottish government help reduce the cost of a child to all Scottish families by
offering something free: the extension of free school meals throughout primary education and the introduction of
free bus travel for all children.

Up to 2021, free school meals have been offered for all children in the first three years of primary school in
Scotland as in England. To this, the Scottish government has added free school meals for P4 and P5 children by
January 2022, with plans to extend this to P6 and P7 children within the parliamentary term.

This produces significant savings for families, on the assumption that previously they had to pay for either a packed lunch or a cooked lunch at school, and in future they will not. Some low-income families have already been entitled to free school lunches, but take-up of these is affected by stigma and other barriers, and calculations of the cost of a child have not taken such savings into account. With all pupils entitled, regardless of income, it is more reasonable to
assume that families will save the cost of children’s lunches during term time.

Once fully implemented throughout primary school, the effect of this policy will be to make the cost of bringing up
a child £1,700 cheaper in Scotland compared to England, based on the total estimated cost of buying school
lunches in the last four years of primary school.

Introducing free bus travel for all Scots under 22 years old at the end of January 2022 will make a significant
difference to the minimum cost of a child. Even though the MIS research concludes that families with children
need a car, older children need to be able to travel independently by public transport, including to get to school
and for a limited amount of leisure travel. This is budgeted at £9.60 a week, and free bus travel saves a total of
£3,000 in the lifetime cost of a child in Scotland compared to England.


Did the Mummies organiser in Scotland know where they were?


9 thoughts on “Why were a hundred or so in George Square to demand affordable childcare?

  1. I don’t doubt they did know, but even with that financial assistance from SG, the cost of childcare is massive, and will likely rise as incomes are further squeezed and energy costs etc increase.

    It is particularly serious in southern England where higher rents and mortgages etc. persist (and are not protected per SG).

    eg Nurses who have kids struggle to fund childcare at say 14k a year so they get back to work on meagre salaries, yet there is a nursing shortage.
    Tory dogma, knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Also nurses in England are saddled with debt – loans for tuition fees etc – so any pay rise they get or even their normal annual increments up the pay scale may put them over the threshold which triggers loan repayments. Nurses in Scotland don’t have those debts so get the full benefit of pay rises or incremental rises.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. A CODE OF CONDUCT, (sorry but the SHOUTY thing grinds my gears) must be invoked by the Scottish Parliament to prevent the abuse of journalistic privilege we’ve been witness to and victims of for far too many years.

      Unlike the FM I do not regard James Cook as a “professional journalist”, a professional for sure but journalist ? Free-speech and journalism have limits, but not so HMS James Cook or his predecessor Helen Smith or come to that Nick “He said nothing” Robinson.

      I saw how Cook provoked the crowd after the “official” cameras were off in Perth, and do not try convincing me he was just an innocent off-camera “journalist” from the inside of a secure barricade (whilst an unknown filmed him from the other side) whilst Cook took facial shots of each of the individuals in the noisiest bunch in the crowd. This was no mere passing interest, it was deliberately engineered by Cook to imply authority from within a secure zone with NOT ONE of the individuals asked for permission for their photos to be taken.

      The Tories needed a diversion from their public meeting having been so publicly disrupted by relatively well behaved but vociferous protestors lest it dominate the news… A quick call to James Cook to provide the needed diversion, newsflash BBC Scotland journalist abused….

      James Cook is not a journalist but a nasty and arrogant propagandist in an expensive suit for hire and always will be – Nuff said.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The link to the BBC article gives hardly any information about what help is currently available anywhere in the ‘UK’. There’s a mention of generous maternity leave, and that’s it.

    Apart from the help John highlightd there’s…

    The Herald, March 2022

    (Their article was written before the SG announced Scottish Child Payment would be increasing to £25 per week from December for all eligible children)


    “SNP’s UK-leading child welfare policies could reduce costs by 31%”

    It says..

    “Assuming that the Scottish child payment is doubled to £20 a week and fully rolled out and all primary school children are receiving free school meals, it found that the combined value of Scottish government policies reduces the net cost of bringing up a child by up to 31% (nearly £24,000) for lower income families.”



    ” Your 2, 3 or 4 year old could benefit from 1140 hours a year of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC). This is free to you, funded by the Scottish Government and local authorities. That works out at about 30 hours a week if you use it during school term-time, or around 22 hours a week if you use it year-round. And you can access it at nurseries, childminders, or playgroups – or a mix of these! It just depends on what’s available near you.”


    Liked by 2 people

  3. What the mummies want is, according to the BBC is “affordable childcare, flexible working and properly paid parental leave”.
    Lets take the last two first. Both of these would require amendments to existing rights in Employment Law. It is certainly worth commenting that not only do the Scottish Government have NO devolved rights in that area of Law, but they were denied these by the Labour Party in the course of the Smith Commission. In short, no matter what the Scottish Government opinion might be, other than offer encouragement to employers to do these things as “best practice”, they have no powers.
    The first one is a bit more difficult, as childcare is not universally free in Scotland (unlike post 5 education). Right now a parent can get “1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare a year (around 30 hours a week in term time)”, BUT ONLY “if your child is 3 or 4 years old.” This though raises issue.
    For some parents – especially the poorest paid – maternity leave is not affordable. They just have to go back to work as quickly as they are able for income reasons. If they have no family support for childcare then they have a major problem. Indeed, even for 3 and 4 year olds, government funding covers only on average 6 hours per day from the time the little one is dropped off until they are collected. This might not suit the needs of every parent (eg they may have to fund hours in addition to the six funded hours). Funding of childcare is an issue. In England there are the same 3 and 4 year old requirements, but you have to qualify – you need to have worked 16 hours a week for at least the national minimum wage for at least three months (comes to £1976) but less than 100k. There is though no requirement for childcare providers to participate in the scheme. Thus the Scottish situation is more transparent and easier to work, BUT it does still pose some problems
    Financially it sometimes seems to me that there are issues rather like with care homes, where many staff are paid at/just above the Living Wage, but the owners are involved in complex tax arrangements yet moan their heads off about being short-changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Actually, I was there in George Square at the time. I had no idea what the gathering was about, and I have to be honest here my wife and I talked to a few of the women and all of the ones we spoke to were English. They also had no idea of the Scot Gov’s input into helping mitigate Westminster’s dreadful policies. It might have been a coincidence, but it was a random sample from the gathering. Also, there weren’t that many.


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