By a Staff Reporte,
War-time day nurseries which are run by the Ministry of Health to enable young mothers to do war work, will decrease in numbers as war work in the various factories declines. 'Sit is out aim," said a Ministry official to me, " to close them all down eventually. Remember these day nurseries were set up by us in co-operation with the Ministry of Labour so that the labour demands of he war might be met. The nurseries are paid for hy the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They take the babies from a month old up to the age of five. But because we have met the demand for such nurseries does not imply that we like' the idea of such young children being in nurseries. We feel that a child under the age of two is better with its mother than in any nursery, no matter how efficiently it is run. We have two reasons for our attitude. (I) A child under the age of two is at its most vulnerable apt liable to infection. (2) A child of that age needs that indefinable something which only a
mother can give-warmth and a feeling of protection."
It is possible, however, that some of these nurseries Closed by the Ministry ,of Health may be taken over by the Board of Education when the new Education Act comes into form. Under the Act, said a Board of Education official to me, local authorities will be expected to provide adequate schools for all children from the age of two upwards. This will mean the provision of trained nursery school teachers and adequate nursery schools. In districts where wartime nurseries exist they may, if reaching the approved standard, be taken over.
I gathered from my talks with the Ministry of Health and the Board of Education that a divergence of opinion exists between these two bodies. The Board of Education tends to encourage the sending of very young children to nurseries. " While we do not expect nurseries to take the place of home," I was told, " we foresee a great need for nursery schools while housing conditions remain what they are at present?'