HC Deb 07 March 2000 vol 345 c578W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of people had access to Government-funded child care(a) in rural areas and (b) in urban areas, (i) in the most recent year for which figures are available and (ii) five years ago. [111976]

Ms Hodge

We are unable to provide the information in the format requested, but can provide data on the overall number of new child care places created through government funding. In 1998–99 some 66,000 new child care places were funded through the Out of School Childcare Initiative, the Further Education Funding Council and DfEE grants to Early Years Development Partnerships. This compares with 22,286 new child care places created by the Out of School Childcare Initiative in 1994–95.

Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCPs) are responsible for ensuring full coverage of both urban and rural areas within their areas of remit. EYDCPs have been set up in every local authority area of England. DfEE's planning guidance to Partnerships requires them to pay particular attention to the development and maintenance of provision in rural areas.

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