Scottish executive finance minister Jack McConnell today announced a boost for many day nurseries across Scotland by announcing that from the beginning of the financial year they will pay a lower level of rates.
Mr McConnell said: 'The Scottish executive is committed to high quality, affordable, accessible childcare and has promised to ensure a nursery place for every 3 year old whose parent wants it by 2002.
'Day nurseries, such as creches and playgroups, provide a vital service for working parents and are an important complement to nursery schools. That is why I have decided to lower the rates paid by many of Scotland's day nurseries from the beginning of the financial year.
1. In some cases day nurseries, such as creches and playgroups, have their rateable values assessed by the 'Contractor's Method' which involves a capital valuation being made of a property and this valuation then multiplied by a 'decapitalisation rate'. (Day Nurseries located in places of work etc. will generally not be valued by the 'Contractors Method'.)
2. There are two levels of rates calculated under the 'Contractors Method': the lower rate of 3.67 per cent applies to education, healthcare and MoD properties, while the higher rate of 5.5 per cent applies to all other properties valued by this method.
3. Nursery Schools have qualified in the past for the lower rate and from April 1 2000 the lower rate will also apply to some Day Nurseries assessed on the contractor's method of valuation. It is estimated that up to 500 day nurseries could qualify for the application of the lower rate.
4. This amendment will bring the Scottish regulations into line with those in England and Wales.