But Keith Geddes, speaking as Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale, said the Government was to blame, not Borders.
Mr Geddes, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said plans to open a nursery at Stow had to be shelved. In previous years the intake in the village primary had averaged 11 children a year. But the number attending the local playgroup was around 25.
"This trend seems to indicate how the attraction of such communities to young people needs to be matched by Government funding," Mr Geddes said. The Pounds 20 million to be spent on administration of the nursery voucher scheme would fund 16,000 part-time places for three-year-olds.