asked the Minister of Health how many day nurseries were closed down during 1946; how many still remain in being; what was the number of children accommodated: and if, in view of the need for the return of women to industry, he will take steps to stimulate local authorities to make further provision.
The closures during 1946 numbered 167. Eight hundred and ninety-seven with 44,000 places remain open. Local authorities were urged at the end of 1945 to make adequate provision, and I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the relevant Circular.
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Harrow Urban District Council recently served notice upon the parents of children attending its day nurseries raising the charges from 5s. a week to 6s. a day and that, following protests, the application of the new scale has been postponed pending consideration of cases of individual hardship; and if he will inquire into the cost of maintaining these nurseries in view of the fact that the council is in receipt of a 50 per cent. Government grant towards this.
I have received representations from parents and local organisations about the Council's proposal, and I am in communication with the Council on the subject.