HC Deb 29 January 1998 vol 305 c333W
Mr. Trimble

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criteria are used in approving the establishment of nursery units to new or existing primary schools. [25021]

Mr. Worthington

Recent expansion of nursery provision has occurred under the aegis of the "making Belfast work" and Londonderry regeneration initiatives and, more recently, the EU special support programme for peace and reconciliation. Nursery provision approved by the Department of Education under these initiatives mustbe sited where it will have maximum educational impact, through targeting areas of greatest social and educational need; create access for as many children as possible; and represent good value for money.

Under the Government's planned expansion of pre-school education provision, new nursery provision will only be approved if it is included in an education and library board's pre-school education development plan. These plans will target places initially on children from socially disadvantaged circumstances and the oldest four-year-olds—those with July and August birthdays.