HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc47-8W
Dame Joan Vickers

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his policy towards the provision of facilities such as play centres, nursery schools or kindergartens for the pre-school child; and if he will seek to encourage voluntary organisations to help in this matter on the lines of the New Zealand scheme which over a number of years has proved to be of great benefit to a large number of children.

Mr. Redhead

My right hon. Friend welcomes proposals to establish new nursery schools and classes in suitable existing accommodation where they will enable more married women teachers with young children to return to teaching, but he cannot withdraw all the restrictions without diverting teachers from primary schools.

I am also pleased to note the growth in the number of pre-school play-groups in this country, which I understand are similar to those in New Zealand. My right hon. Friend has recently offered a grant of £3,000 per annum for three years to the National Association of Pre-School Play-groups towards their headquarters expenses, which include the salary of a national adviser.