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Pre-School Education: Codes of Practice

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if his Department will commission an independent regulatory impact assessment on the 2006 Code of Practice on free entitlement to nursery education; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the implementation of the code on the number of children's nurseries. (141426)

The single substantive change to the delivery of the free early education entitlement, set out in the 2006 code of practice, was the extension of the minimum free entitlement from 33 to 38 weeks. Following full public consultation, we made clear our recognition that not all providers would be able to extend their provision to 38 weeks and that, at each local authority's discretion, they could be funded for the provision they actually delivered. Furthermore, all local authorities received additional funding to support the extension to the free entitlement. We therefore concluded that there should not be a substantive regulatory impact and that a regulatory impact assessment was not required. We have no plans therefore for an independent impact assessment.

We have no evidence of the code of practice having a significant impact on the number of early years settings.