HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 cc810-1W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many(a) free nursery and (b) pre-school places were available for (i) three and (ii) four-year-olds in Birkenhead in each of the last seven years. [166301]

Margaret Hodge

The information is not available in the form requested.

Figures on the number of free nursery education places taken up by three and four-year-olds in Wirral local education authority area are shown in the table.

Number of free nursery education places1,2 taken up by three and

four-year-old children in maintained nursery and primary schools and private, voluntary and independent providers Wirral local

education authority area—1997–2003

Position in January each year
Three-year olds Four-year-olds
1997 1,600 3,800
1998 1,700 3,900
1999 1,700 3,900
2000 2,900 3,900
2001 3,100 4,400
2002 3,200 3,000
2003 3,200 3,500
1 Part-time equivalent number of free nursery education places taken up by three and four-year-old children.
2 A free nursery education place comprises five two and a half hour sessions of early years education per week, for 33 weeks of the year, usually three terms of 11 weeks.

The latest figures on provision for three and four-year-olds in England were published in a Statistical Bulletin "Provision for children under five years of age in England-January 2003" which is available on the Department's website www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/.

We have made the commitment that by April 2004, six months ahead of our original target, all three-year-olds in England whose parents want one, will have access to a free, part-time early education place.