§ Mr. Pickthall
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many childcare places have been created in West Lancashire since 1997. 
§ Margaret Hodge
The Department is unable to provide details of childcare places for West Lancashire. However, from April 1999 to March 2004, Lancashire local authority created 22,581 new childcare places helping some 39,808 children. This shows an increase in the stock of childcare places, taking into account turnover, of 9,826, helping some 17,631 children.