§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what financial assistance is available from his Department for voluntary playgroups to meet the requirements of the Children Act 1989 and other legislation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stewart
Financial assistance has not been made available to local groups for this purpose. Many groups in eligible areas, however, receive assistance for their general activities under the urban programme. The Scottish Pre-School Play Association also receives grants under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 to provide member groups with support, advice and training.
The provisions of the Children Act 1989 which govern day care, including playgroups, came into force on 14 October 1991. They were widely welcomed as a means of raising standards and improving the quality of the care provided for young children.