§ Mrs. Roche
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of the(a) women who are mothers and (b) men who are fathers who are employed by his Department have received assistance from the Department with child care. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
[holding answer 4 November 1996]Although Northern Ireland Office and Northern Ireland Departments collect statistical information on staff employed in Government Departments and executive agencies, information is not collected on parental status of individual staff. It would be inappropriate for us to request this information from staff and difficult to justify the collection of such data. However, in the Northern Ireland Office and Northern Ireland Departments the following child care assistance is available or plannedSpecial Leave with Pay;Reimbursement of expenses when normal working routine is broken by job demands;Access to Parent Partnership Scheme run by the Northern Ireland Childminding Association;Childcare information package;Holiday Playschemes which cater for the children of staff during school holidays have been developed at eight locations in Northern Ireland; andA pre-school nursery subsidy scheme offering financial assistance currently operating in the Department of the Environment and the Child Support Agency.