NICOLA Sturgeon has been urged to pressure the SNP council running her home city to scrap a 57 per cent in some nursery fees this autumn.

Glasgow City Council is due to increase its hourly childcare charge from £2.54 to £4 in August for very young children and for extra hours over and above free entitlements.

To minimise the burden on low-income families, there will be extra free hours for three and four year olds in households earning less than £30,000.

However at First Minister’s Questions, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard claimed that still meant around 5000 families would be hit by massive increases.

He cited the example of NHS worker Sarah Spence, who faces a £220 increase in her monthly fees to £640 for her 18-month-old son Ollie.

Mr Leonard said: “She told me 'I feel I will be forced to give up work to look after my son which is unfair, as I love my job in the NHS'.

“First Minister, how many working-class families do you know with a spare £220 a month?”

Mr Leonard also quoted Ms Sturgeon's SNP conference speech in Glasgow in October, when she said: “Some parents still face a struggle to find and fund the childcare they need to allow them to work. We are going to change that.”

He added: “This won't allow people to work, it will slam the door on work for people.”

Ms Sturgeon the hike was a decision for the council, but added Glasgow had increased the number of free childcare hours available to low income families.

She also highlighted government plans to raise free nursery entitlement from 600 hours to 1,140 by August 2020 for three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.

She said: "The reforms that we are currently in the process of implementing with local authority colleagues will save families across the country thousands of pounds a year as well as giving young people the best start in life."

Glasgow’s education convener councillor Chris Cunningham said: “A decision was taken at February’s budget to increase nursery charges from the new term in August to make council charges more aligned with partnership provision as we all make a phased transition towards 1140 free hours for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds by 2020.

"From August, working families earning £30,000 or less will now be offered 900 free hours - 300 hours more than the national entitlement and an increase on the current policy of families earning £25,000 or less who are entitled to 800 hours.

"The figure of 5,000 families being quoted today who will be affected by the fee increases is misleading as a number of these will now benefit from the earnings threshold increase."