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The latest figures for day care indicate a continuing improvement in overall provision for the daycare of children,...
The latest figures for day care indicate a continuing improvement in overall provision for the daycare of children, says the Scottish Office.

But the statistics reveal a fall in the number of places in local authority day nurseries of just under 6% to 5,700.

The Scottish Office points to an expansion of 30% to 10,238 in the number of places reported in the registered sector.

The number of places available with registered childminders rose by 20% to 31,797, continuing the expansionary trend which has resulted in a ninefold increase in provision since 1981.

Playgroup provision declined marginally by 1% to 43,335 places.

The number of children in residential care rose slightly by 1.2% to 2,078, interrupting the long term decline which has seen the number of residents fall by 44% since 1981.

In the year to March 31, 1994, there was an increase of 69 to 266 in the number of admissions to secure units, reversing the fall of the previous year.

These and other statistics are published today by the Social Work Services Group of The Scottish Office in a statistical bulletin entitled 'Services for Children 1994'.

In 1994, the number of places reported in registered day nurseries was 10,238 compared to only 5,699 in the local authority sector.

The average number of places in the independent sector was 26 compared with 38 in the local authority sector.

In 1993-94, local authorities spent about £114m on day care and residential services compared to £102m in 1992-93.

Over two thirds of children who are in residential care were aged 11 to 15. In 1994, 29% were aged 15, 19% were aged 14 and 15% were aged 16.

About 77% of homes have between six and 25 beds compared to 80% in 1993 and accommodate 61% of children in residential care. 36% of children are looked after in homes with more than 25 beds compared with 37% in 1993.

In 1994, about 56% of children discharged from homes were discharged within one month of admission and 22% had a length of stay of six months or more on discharge.

During the year to March 31, 1994, 266 children were admitted to secure units under a variety of statutes. This is an increase of 60 over the previous year. Two thirds of the admissions were under a statute of an emergency nature.

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