The SNP have been “taking their eye off the ball” with childcare and education, Scottish Labour has said.
Leader Anas Sarwar accused the SNP Government of having “failed” children as he argued that the next Scottish Parliament should be focused on recovery from the pandemic rather than another independence referendum.
Ahead of a visit to a mother and toddler group at a community centre in Glasgow, Mr Sarwar argued for an “education comeback plan” for children and young people after the disruption caused by coronavirus.
Scottish Labour’s manifesto pledges year-on-year expansion of free childcare, with an aim of offering 50 hours to help the economy by both creating jobs and enabling parents to return to work.
Mr Sarwar said: “A generation of young people have had their learning and lives disrupted by Covid, but even before this pandemic Scotland’s childcare and education system wasn’t setting up all our children for success.
“We have a moral imperative to ensure that our next generation do not carry the weight of the pandemic – that’s why they must be the focus of the next parliament, not old arguments or political games.
“Unfortunately too many children are paying the price for the SNP taking their eye off the ball – and the Scottish Tories have failed to make a difference in opposition.
“We need Holyrood to focus on our national recovery.
“That’s why Scottish Labour is ambitious about giving our children the best start in life as part of building a fairer, better Scotland.
“If you believe that the next Scottish Parliament must be focused on our national recovery and delivering a fairer future for children, use both votes, especially the peach ballot paper, to back Scottish Labour.”