§ Mr. Barnes
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what provision her Department makes for child care facilities for staff; what subsidy is provided for(a) nursery places and (b) holiday play schemes; if she will list the organisations used by her Department for child care; and if child care vouchers are made available to staff. 
§ Mrs. Beckett
[holding answer 19 February 1998]: The Department provides a 32-place holiday playscheme which operates from purpose-built accommodation in central London, for a minimum of 54 days each academic year. Departmental staff enjoy a subsidy of 54% towards the cost of daily fees. An annual contribution is also made towards the cost of running an inter-Departmental Easter and Summer playscheme for staff located in the Government Office for the East Midlands.
In September 1997, as a result of an invitation to tender exercise, Kinderquest Ltd. was successful in securing a three-year contract to run the Department's central London playscheme. The previous contractor was Multibase Playcare, which was awarded the first contract in 1990.
The Department does not at present provide or subsidise nursery places, nor does it offer nursery vouchers to its staff.