§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he will adopt to increase the level of grant aid to the four health and social services boards in respect of early years services. 
§ Mr. Moss
The Department of Health and Social Services allocates resources to the health and social services boards on a capitation basis. It is for the boards to determine priorities for the use of these resources within broad guidelines laid down by the Department. They do not receive grant aid, and funds are not earmarked for particular services.
In September 1994, the Government published a policy statement for the development of day care nursery education for young children in Northern Ireland. The statement announced the creation of an early years development fund, which will channel over £1 million extra over the three years ended April 1997 to early years projects in the voluntary and community sector.
This is in addition to the board's regular spending on early years services, and to recurrent grant aid of over £279,000 annually from the Department towards the regional activities of voluntary organisations in this field.