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Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list by location, where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department; and if they have to make any payment for this service.

There are no creche facilities provided by the Northern Ireland Civil Service or the Northern Ireland Office.The Northern Ireland Civil Service and the home Civil Service are, however, considering how child care arrangements for staff could be improved. Two holiday playschemes have been established, on a pilot basis, within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. One scheme, based in Londonderry, ran during the 1989 summer school holidays, whilst the scheme based in the Stormont estate ran during the 1989 summer and Christmas holiday periods. The schemes were also open to home Civil Service staff in Northern Ireland. A holiday playscheme in Westminster, Elephant and Castle, Kensington and Croydon was available to London-based staff during 1989.In the Northern Ireland Civil Service a joint management and trade union side working group on childcare, which is responsible for the holiday playscheme initiative in the Province, is considering the feasibility of providing creches for the children of civil servants. In view of the small number of London-based staff in the Northern Ireland Office, it would be impracticable to organise a separate creche. Nevertheless, creche facilities are being sought with larger Government Departments.