§ Mr. Healey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the Green Paper on the National Child Care Strategy will be launched. 
§ Jackie Ballard
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will publish the Government's proposed National Child Care Strategy Consultation. 
§ Mr. Blunkett
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security and Minister for Women and I are launching our joint Green Paper on the National Child Care Strategy,Meeting the Childcare Challenge, today. In developing our proposals, we have been working closely with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who has responsibility for Lottery funding, and other colleagues.
The Green Paper sets out how we intend to make a reality of our Manifesto commitment to develop a National Child Care Strategy. It is the first time a Government have taken a coherent and strategic approach to child care. We are backing the Strategy with a substantial investment of public money—over £125 million in England over the coming years—and we are making available £170 million from the Lottery New Opportunities Fund to develop new out of school child care provision.
The Green paper sets out three steps to the Strategy: raising quality, making child care more affordable and making it more accessible. We will achieve this through working in partnership at local level, building on what already exists. Our aim is to ensure good-quality, affordable child care for children aged 0 to 14 in every neighbourhood, including both formal child care and support for informal arrangements.
Our Green Paper sets out the principles of the National Child Care Strategy covering the whole of the UK, but the specific proposals for implementation relate to England. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is launching a Green Paper on the child care strategy in Scotland today. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland and for Wales are also planning to consult on the National Child Care Strategy in the near future.
The Green Paper has today been laid before Parliament and copies are available in the Vote Office.