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Departmental Child Care Facilities

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what child care (a) provision and (b) assistance is available to his Department’s staff. (89565)

The Ministry of Defence provides the following child care support for its civilian and military employees:

46 work place nurseries offering circa 1,750 full day care places for children aged three months to five years.

36 crèches (benefiting 700 children) providing occasional care and 70 pre schools (benefiting over 2,000 children) providing education on a sessional basis, primarily for service families.

14 wrap-around care schemes for 5-12 year olds (benefiting 350 children) providing after school care to match the working day.

15 holiday play schemes providing full day care for 5 to 12-year-olds during school holidays (three are shared with other Government Departments) benefiting 550 children.

Four salary plus child care voucher schemes for civilian employees: Army Pay Centre Glasgow, Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) staff, Warship Support Agency Rosyth and Defence Bills Agency Liverpool. The schemes benefit circa 240 parents.

MOD nurseries are usually run by contractors, as commercial enterprises, who offer competitive rates. About 10 per cent. of the nurseries offer direct subsidies, which can reduce the fees by around a third. Some play schemes also receive direct subsidies.

MOD’s four voucher schemes provide employees with circa £30,000 of support per month, ranging from a flat rate £50 for after school care and £75 for pre school care per month to around a third of actual costs on a sliding scale for the registered care of their choice. These schemes offer the advantage of supporting parents to make their own choices about where and what type of child care support they want for their child.