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Star ratings for nurseries

A national star system to rate pre-school providers has been announced by the government. Parents will be able to judge nurseries and playgroups through a standardised national programme designed to reveal the quality of care and services. The government hopes 40 per cent of providers will sign up by 2004.

Under the Investors in Children sceme, maintained nursery schools will be given funding to expand services including out-of-hours childcare, family support and adult education. Playgroups will be encouraged to provide full-day care and funding will be available for upgrading buildings and expanding facilities.

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