THE NUMBER of free nursery places for three-year-olds will expand by 41,500 from this September, education minister Margaret Hodge, has announced. A further 6,300 would be made available from January 2000. Over 80 per cent of the places will be provided by the private and voluntary sectors. Mrs Hodge approved 150 local plans to create the free nursery places under the Government's promise to double the number in England to 66 per cent by 2002.
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