HC Deb 17 July 1969 vol 787 cc855-6
3. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what extensions of nursery education he will introduce in the immediate future.

Miss Bacon

My right hon. Friend recently announced that a further 5,376 full-time nursery places would be included in the second phase of the urban programme, bringing the total this year to well over 10,000 places.

Mrs. Short

Again, I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer and assure her that this extension is very welcome. Is she aware that the Transport and General Workers' Union has just come out in favour of a kind of pre-school care? Will she do all she can to help the proposals that it is putting forward?

Miss Bacon

Yes, Sir. We are doing everything we can about pre-school care. Indeed, my hon. Friend will be pleased to learn that local authorities have made grants to pre-school play groups in various areas as a result of the urban programme.

Captain W. Elliot

Can the right hon. Lady say how much money the Government are allocating to this service at the present time?

Miss Bacon

At the moment, we have the urban programme in progress. We have had the first stage, and the second stage is already announced. The Government are to spend, I think, £20 million to £25 million over the four years, but this includes day nurseries and child care as well. But the essential feature is that, for the first time, where local authorities spend the money the Government are giving a 75 per cent. grant on it.