The Scottish Independent Nurseries Association claims that 65 per cent of parents would prefer to spend their Pounds 1,100 Government voucher in a private nursery.
Questionnaires were completed by 615 families with children at nurseries registered with the association. The finding contrasts with last year's poll by the Scottish Parent Teacher Council which found that 77 per cent of parents saw local authority nurseries as their ideal form of provision.
Patricia McGinty, the association's vice-convener in the west of Scotland, commented that parents were endorsing the service their families had received.
Eric Wilkinson and Christine Stephen from Glasgow University's education department have been commissioned to draw up a manual of standards to guard against "cowboy operators". The association currently represents nurseries with places for 25,000 children.