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Day Nurseries

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1957.

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Photo of Mrs Lena Jeger Mrs Lena Jeger , Holborn and St Pancras South 12:00 am, 16th December 1957

asked the Minister of Health the total number of day nursery places for the current year, compared with last year; and what is the comparable expenditure.

Photo of Mr Richard Thompson Mr Richard Thompson , Croydon South

On 31st December, 1956, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 26,109 approved places available compared with 28,024 a year earlier. No comparative information is yet available about expenditure in the two financial years which included these dates.

Photo of Mrs Lena Jeger Mrs Lena Jeger , Holborn and St Pancras South

Can the Minister state why it is the Government's policy that the number of places in day nurseries is being decreased? Is he aware that while there are fewer facilities for mothers to put their children in day nurseries there is no decrease in the number of mothers going out to work, and does not this raise a serious question of child welfare?

Photo of Mr Richard Thompson Mr Richard Thompson , Croydon South

My right hon. and learned Friend's general policy is to give discretion to local health authorities to close nurseries, as they are best able to determine local needs. I have no reason to believe that nurseries needed as part of the local health service are being closed.