Yet the arguments over vouchers go on. Critics claim that the scheme will give middle-class parents "a bonanza".
They say many of those who are already paying for nursery school or playgroup will receive a government handout of pounds 1,100 a year - the value of the voucher.
Yet even some of those who are critical of the voucher scheme in general point out that others besides the nursery-going classes of Chelsea and Hampstead will benefit from the scheme.
The Pre-School Learning Alliance, for instance, doubts whether vouchers will achieve the Government's aim of increasing the number of nursery or playgroup places for the under-fives.
Already, it says, competition for voucher money is producing some undesirable results: one of the most likely outcomes seems to be that school will change their admission policies to admit more four-year-olds, threatening the existence of some playgroups.
But the alliance's Margaret Lochrie says the vouchers offer real and immediate benefits to some playgroup parents.
"At least a quarter of children in our groups are in severe financial hardship. Only a tiny minority get funding from local authorities. Underneath the politics of left and right these are children who in any circumstances require help from the state."Reuse content