To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many four year olds were receiving 50 per cent. nursery education in May (i) 1997 and (ii) 1996 in (a) the public and (b) the private sector; (2) what is his estimate of the number of four year olds who will be receiving 50 per cent. nursery education in 2000 in
(a) the public sector and (b) the private sector. 
The information is not available in the form requested. The January 1997 Schools census showed 35,313 pupils aged four were receiving at least half-time education in maintained nursery, primary and special schools, compared with 35,251 at January 1996. Nursery Voucher redemption statistics indicate that 2,407 four year olds were receiving at least half-time nursery education in private and voluntary sectors in the Summer term 1997.The intention is that from September 1998 local authorities should fund at least half-time education places for all four year olds whose parents want them, either in maintained schools or through partnerships with the private and voluntary sectors. The number of 4 year olds who will receive nursery education in each sector in 2000 will depend on arrangements adopted in each local authority area.