Vouchers increase parental choice: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: Rosemary Murphy's letter ("Vouchers will restrict choice", 24 July) suggested that nursery education vouchers would restrict choice for parents.

On the contrary, nursery education vouchers will give parents of all four-year-olds the opportunity to make a choice between providers in the state, private or voluntary sectors.

I applaud co-operation between providers and between sectors, with all partners working towards a common aim. Many parents want education and care in a single institution - the private and voluntary sectors are particularly well placed to provide just that.

If, as Ms Murphy suggests, local authorities start to admit younger and younger children to school, and parents do not like that, they may use the choice offered to them by their voucher to move their child. After all, that is what parental choice is about.

ROBIN SQUIRE

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State

Department for Education and Employment

London SW1

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