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Departmental Child Care Facilities

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what child care (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to her Department's staff. (89475)

There are two in-house nurseries, one at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Main Building, King Charles Street and the other at Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes.

The London Nursery has a total of 36 places. These are subsidised and the fees range from £23 to £34 per day.

The Hanslope Park nursery has a total of 50 places. Fees are £139 per week for under-2s and £126 for children two and over.

The FCO introduced the Salary Sacrifice Childcare Vouchers Scheme on 1 April 2006. This enables staff to purchase child care vouchers up to the value of £243 per month by sacrificing the equal amount of salary. The resulting saving in tax and national insurance to the individual officer is up to the value of £1,200 per year.

The FCO pay a 50 per cent. subsidy to the Westminster Playscheme to enable FCO staff to take up places for their school-age children during normal school holidays.