* In December 1997, the Daycare Trust charity said there was only one childcare place nationally for every nine children under the age of eight. The trust estimated formal childcare at that time cost parents pound;6,000 per annum.
* David Blunkett said in 1998: "Our aim is to ensure that no parent is prevented from taking up work, education or training through lack of affordable childcare."
* Over the next five years, the Government aims to provide 1,000,000 new childcare places, 100,000 childcare workers and 40,000 out-of-school clubs (source: Meeting the Childcare Challenge, Green Paper, 1998)
* LEAs should now have plans in place for meeting childcare needs.
* A survey this month by MPs revealed funding of childcare places in
colleges has risen steadily.
* In 1995-96, the FEFC introduced a childcare element into its funding of pound;3 million, or 0.1 per cent of its total funding to colleges.
* In 1998-99, the Government allowed the FEFC pound;5 million to create at least 10,000 new places in colleges.
* In 1999-2000, the DFEE will make pound;5m available for at least 5,000 places for children aged up to four within colleges. Last week Malcolm Wicks promised another 30,000 college-based places to bring the total to 57,000.