§ Mr. Meadowcroft
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he is satisfied with the range of child-care facilities described in Her Majesty's Government's answer to question A 3.2.6 of part II of the United Nations end of decade for women questionnaire.
§ Mr. John Patten
[pursuant to the reply, 12 February 1985, c. 167]: We are satisfied as to the range of child-care facilities. We are concerned that working mothers should be able to make the best arrangements possible for their children, and that these arrangements should be stable and flexible enough to fit in with the parents' requirements. It is however particularly important that these requirements should provide a good standard of care for the individual child. Day-care will continue to be primarily a matter of private arrangement between parents and private and voluntary resources except where there are special needs, but we should like to see local authorities continuing to develop their supporting, supervisory and information roles alongside their registration functions. The Department is currently reviewing its long-standing guidance on day-care provision and the opportunity will be taken in publishing revised guidance to encourage the continuation of these developments.
In October 1983 we began a special initiative at a total cost of £6 million up to March 1987 to help stimulate voluntary sector provision for families with pre-school children including particularly families with working mothers on low income.