War-Time Nurseries.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 25th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

asked the Minister of Health the total cost involved in establishing a war-time nursery for 50 children up to the age of five years; how many staff are required; and what are the relevant figures for a nursery containing only children over the age of two years?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

To enable a fair comparison to be made between the cost of nurseries of different types it would be necessary to take account of the length of hours for which they are open and the extent to which the accommodation provided is fully utilised over a period of time. The circumstances of individual nurseries vary so much that it would be misleading to attempt to make a comparison based on the single factor mentioned by my hon. Friend.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

Would it be true to say that, broadly speaking, it does not take twice as many people if the nursery includes children under two?

Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

Of course it does.

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I could not accept that suggestion. If my hon. Friend wants to know whether it requires more, naturally it does. The problem is entirely different in the case of a nursery where you have children of all ages for 12 hours a day, with perhaps a section for nights as well, compared with one which is part-time and for a shorter period.

Miss Rathbone:

Is it not a fact that the Minister requires that there should be a fully-trained nurse and fully-trained teacher and is that really necessary, especially in towns where a doctor is available?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I should be very reluctant to lower the standard.