Twenty whole-time nurseries with accommodation for 828 children are now in operation in the London Region: 44 more with accommodation for 1,911 children are approved and will shortly be open. A further 92 nurseries are in preparation. Figures of attendances are only available at present for a nurseries, which have been open for some months. In these nurseries there are 406 places and the average attendance at the end of December was 308.
These are all war-time nurseries. My right hon. Friend will realise that one of the first things to be done was to remove the nursery schools into the country, and these, as units, although not with the same children, are in existence in the country as whole-time residential nurseries.
I do not agree. The hon. Lady will understand that in this matter everybody is working on conjecture, because these women volunteer. They are not directed or conscripted. The Government policy is to obtain single women first, then married women without children, and then married women with children. The women come for one of two reasons, either with a keen desire to help the war effort or for economic reasons. My duty is to meet the need, and that I intend to do.