§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many child care places there were in Shrewsbury and Atcham on(a) 1 May 1997 and (b) the latest available dates for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hodge
Details of the number of child care places are not available by constituency. Between May 1997 and March 1999, the National Childcare Strategy created 7,855 child care places in the West Midlands. Since April 1999 local Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships have provided details of the new child care places that have opened by constituency. Between April 1999 and December 2000 Shropshire Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership have reported the creation of 142 new child care places in the Shrewsbury and Atcham area.428W
Since 1997, 1,639 new early education places have been created for three and four-year-olds in the Shropshire area1.1Shropshire split into two authorities from April 1998. The figure for early education places for three and four-year-olds relates to the combined Shropshire authority area that existed in April 1997.