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Nursery Education

Volume 204: debated on Friday 21 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his Department's estimate of the extra revenue costs of extending nursery places to 80 per cent. of three and four-year-olds.

The extra revenue costs are difficult to estimate since they would depend on the types of provision and on the precise balance between full-time and part-time attendance. Assuming the current mix of types of provision and modes of attendance, a broad extrapolation from the estimated cost per pupil for all forms of provision made by local education authorities for the under-fives1 suggests an extra annual recurrent cost of approximately £530 million at 1991–92 prices. In addition there would be capital costs; and costs would also be incurred in training or retaining the additional teaching and ancillary staff who would be needed.

1 Table 2 of DES departmental report "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1992–93 to 1994–95", Cm 1911.