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Working families miss out on child care, say MPs

WORKING parents' childcare needs will not be met by the extension of nursery education to three-year-olds, MPs have told Sam Galbraith, the Children's Minister. The warning comes after a similar claim by the independent nurseries' association.

The Scottish All-Party Parliamentary Group, meeting at Westminster, said parents with under-threes who wished to work were particularly disadvantaged.

Malcolm Chisholm, Labour MP for Leith, who resigned his ministerial post over single parents' benefits, said: "Local authority family centres, for example, are seen to cater for mainly disadvantaged children. There should instead be facilities that are clearly for all parents of under-threes."

Mr Chisholm, the group's chairman, also pressed for further integration of special needs children into mainstream provision. "This does have staffing and resourcing implications but it is what most parents want," he said.

MPs were commenting ahead of the Government's response to its consultation on the childcare strategy launched six months ago.

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