HC Deb 19 May 2003 vol 405 cc589-90W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what créche facilities are provided by his Department; and at what cost. [104300]

Jane Kennedy

The Northern Ireland Office does not provide créche facilities for its staff, but it does provide assistance with the cost of child care for staff with preschool aged children. In the last financial year the Department and its Agencies assisted 166 staff at a total cost of £113,600.

A number of departments within the Northern Ireland administration provide child care facilities.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) Holiday Play schemes are designed to look after school age children of staff during the summer holidays. They are operated by volunteer management committees and are funded by DFP.

In addition, three departments offer limited financial assistance for child care to staff (selection is by way of an annual draw) and to assist parents encountering short-term child care difficulties one department operates an emergency Childcare Subsidy scheme.

The total funding available for these child care provisions is £81,284.