§ Mr. Martlew
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what creche facilities he plans to provide in(a) the armed forces and (b) civilian offices in his Department; and if he will make statement.
§ Mr. Soames
Responsibility for the provision of child care facilities is delegated to individual budget holders. It is my Department's policy however, to increase the provision of child care facilities for service personnel and civilian staff were possible, and budget holders are encouraged to set up new child care facilities where there is sufficient demand, and where they can be justified on value-for-money grounds.
At present we have seven workplace nurseries operating nationwide, available both to civilian and service personnel, with plans for a further five.
Additional child care facilities, in the form of creches and playschemes, are available to service and civilian personnel and their dependants on bases in the United Kingdom and overseas as a result of local voluntary initiatives.