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The first forty-eight centres in the private and voluntary sectors assessed as providing good quality education hav...
The first forty-eight centres in the private and voluntary sectors assessed as providing good quality education have been approved to join the pre-school voucher initiative by Raymond Robertson MP, education minister at the Scottish office.

The centres join new and existing local authority and independent school centres in the pilot areas in being able to redeem vouchers from August 1996.

Mr Robertson said: 'I am delighted that so many pre-school centres from among private and voluntary sector nurseries and playgroups have been judged capable of delivering an effective educational curriculum, and therefore have been successful in applying to join the pre-school initiative.

'Parents should check that the centre(s) they are considering for their child have been successfully registered. Vouchers will start to issue to parents through the post early next week. All local authority and independent school pre-five education provision has been automatically admitted to the initiative.

'Any centre or parent with a query should contact the helpline on 0345 543 345.'

The pilot areas are all of East Renfrewshire and North Ayrshire and some parts of Highland (Caithness, Badenoch and Strathspey) and of Argyll and Bute (Bute, Islay, Tiree, South Kintyre, Oban & Lorn and Lochgilphead & Ardishaig).

Private and voluntary sector providers (other than independent schools, for which separate arrangements apply) will as before need to be registered under the Children Act 1989 with their local authority, and comply with its requirements. All the centres in the pilot areas that are not already subject to inspection by HM Inspectorate will be inspected within the pilot year. A current list of the registered centres in each of the pilot areas will be available from the Scottish office from Monday, June 17.

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