Day nursery plan flops

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 1996, 12:00am

More flexible child-minding services should be developed, social workers said after the report revealed the Government could not provide 5,600 additional day nursery places by next year.

By the end of last month, only 3,095 places had been added since the commitment was made three years ago, leaving the Government well short of the 29,424 places envisaged by next year.

Officials said the slow growth was due to difficulties in securing suitable premises.

Provisions for occasional drop-in care also show a shortage - of 150 places. And due to a low use-rate of creches, which look after babies under three, the Government has decided to reduce by half the target of 1,200 additional places by 1997.

The fall in use was because many creches had not been built in the right areas, social workers said.

Hong Kong Family Welfare Society director Thomas Mulvey said day nurseries should be included in town planning strategies and support should be given to help match private child-minders with parents.