Independence could see Scottish parents benefit from a European style system of childcare with a far greater level of public subsidy, the country's First Minister said.
Alex Salmond said a "transformational shift" in this area should be one of the first acts of an independent Scotland.
He made the policy commitment as he delivered his key note speech to the Scottish National Party (SNP) spring conference in Inverness.
Mr Salmond hailed the measure as one of the reasons for voting to leave the UK in next year's referendum, describing it as "part of the why of independence".
More top news
Ed Miliband is demanding the Conservatives must "come clean" over their plans for the NHS amid claims of greater privatisation
Thousands of Ethiopian Jews have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv to protest against racism and police brutality
Temperatures will be on the warm side tomorrow as much of the country looks forward to a fine bright start to the day.