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Nursery Education

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of children receive publicily funded nursery places in (a) Belgium, (b) Italy, (c) Spain, (d) Greece, (e) Germany and (f) the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not centrally available in the form requested. The table shows the latest available information on combined public and private participation rates in pre-compulsory schooling. Separate participation rates are not available. There are also some differences between countries in the distinction drawn between education and day care. If the United Kingdom figures are defined to include nursery schools, nursery classes, infant classes, pre-school play groups and group day care, the participation rates for both three to four and three to five-year-olds increase to over 90 per cent.

Participation in pre-primary education by age group,19891 Percentage of age group
Age at which compulsory schooling startsEducationPercentage of private sector provision 1987
3 to 53 to 4
1988–89 outturn £ million1989–90 outturn £ million1990–91 outturn £ million1991–92 outturn £ million1992–93 provisional £ million
Grant-maintained schools01869183485
City technology colleges1430585650

Age at which compulsory schooling starts


Percentage of private sector provision 1987

3 to 5

3 to 4

United Kingdom564466



11988 data for Belgium and Italy.

2In Germany, some providers of private sector provision receive some public subsidy.


41991 data.

Sources: Table AA: Education Statistics for the United Kingdom, 1992 edition.