War-time Nurseries

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health – in the House of Commons on 1st October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

asked the Minister of Health whether it is proposed to reorganise the system of war-time nurseries, having regard to the fact that 7,000 women are employed at an annual cost of over £50 per child, involving a total charge of over £1,000,000 per annum to enable 21,000 other women to undertake war work?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

No, Sir. I do not think I should be justified in lowering the standards which I have recommended for the care of those children of women in employment for whom provision is made in war-time nurseries.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Is it not a farce to employ 7,000 people to liberate 21,000 at this enormous cost?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I do not think it is a farce at all. To treat the 7,000 as being an alternative to the 21,000 is a complete illusion.

Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

If nursery schools were confined to children of from 2 to 5, would it not save millions of pounds and be far better for the children?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

My hon. Friend is talking about nursery schools. That is not ray responsibility but the responsibility of the President of the Board of Education.

Miss Rathbone:

Does my right hon. Friend accept the figures in the Question as broadly correct?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I would like to see that Question down in specific terms.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Did not my right hon. Friend give me the figures in answer to a Question?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Yes, Sir, but the figures are now put in a very different setting.

Photo of Major Basil Peto Major Basil Peto , Birmingham King's Norton

asked the Minister of Health how the demand for war-time nurseries is being met in the industrial districts of the Midlands?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

In the Midland Region 120 nurseries are in operation, 70 more have been approved but are not yet in operation, and five more are in an earlier stage of preparation, making a total of approximately 200 nurseries at all stages.