§ Mr. Robin Squire
The Department will make available its evaluation of the operational arrangements for the first phase of the nursery education voucher scheme, in time to make any necessary changes before the implementation of phase 2 in April 1997, and is considering plans for further evaluation of the first phase. Inspections of private and voluntary sector providers are expected to begin in the autumn, leading to an accumulating body of published inspection evidence.
§ Mr. Mills
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate she has made of the cost of funding nursery vouchers in the trial areas of Wandsworth, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea; and how many places have been offered in those local education authorities for(a) three-and-a-half-year-old and (b) four-year-old children. 
§ Mr. Squire
The estimated cost of providing a nursery education voucher worth £1,100 for every four-year-old in the London local education authorities participating in phase 1 of the scheme is £7.5 million.
In January 1995 an estimated 4, 500 four-year-olds were being educated in the maintained sector in those LEAs. Information on the number of places offered to three-and-a-half-year-olds is not held centrally.
§ Mr. Squire
The nursery education voucher scheme has no impact on the calculation of Solihull's standard spending assessments in 1996–97. In calculating SSAs for 1997–98 it is proposed to reduce each LEA's SSA by the product of the voucher value and the number of four-year-olds in maintained provision in 1995–96, allowing for termly variations in attendance. This implies that each LEA, taking into account both SSA and grant paid under the voucher scheme, will have the same funding as they would have received had the scheme not been introduced, provided the schools they maintain continue to recruit four-year-olds at present levels. The views of local government as a whole on the funding methodology for 1997–98 will be taken into account in the usual way.
§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the impact of the nursery voucher scheme on the nursery places provided by local authorities in the pilot areas; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Squire
The impact of the nursery education voucher scheme on the provision of places will become clear once the vouchers returned from providers have been analysed.
I have every confidence that, over time, expansion will take place across all sectors.202W
§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if, for each of the education authority areas operating the scheme for vouchers for pre-school education, she will state,(a) the number of pupils eligible for vouchers (i) in nursery classes in primary schools and (ii) all others, (b) the number of voucher holders issued with vouchers and (c) the total number of places available and those in (1) nursery classes in primary schools, (2) nursery schools maintained by local education authorities, (3) provision by voluntary organisations and (4) private fee-paying provision. 
§ Mr. Squire
Estimates of the four-year-old population and the number of four-year-olds in maintained provision in January 1995 in the four local education authorities participating in phase 1 of the nursery education voucher scheme are given in the following table. These estimates are, however, less reliable when broken down by both year group and local education authority area. The table also shows the number of vouchers issued in each area accounting, overall, for over 80 per cent. of the estimated population.
Estimates are not held centrally for four-year-old pupils by type of maintained provision, nor for places in the private and voluntary sectors.
LEA Total four-year-olds in January 1995 Four-year-olds in maintained provision at January 1995 Number of vouchers issued Kensington and Chelsea 1,650 800 938 Wandsworth 3,300 2,600 2,831 Westminster 1,900 1,110 1,170 Norfolk 9,300 6,300 8,507