London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Shoreditch 1931

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Shoreditch]

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The Maternity and Child Welfare Committee have an arrangement with
the Nursery under which payment is made for the admission of the children
of necessitous parents upon the recommendation of the Health Visitor. This
arrangement, it will be noted, makes a new departure in policy regarding
day nurseries as these children are not limited to those whose mothers are
working, but include children from overcrowded or unhealthy homes in
which their health is likely to suffer.
In the first place a payment of Gd. per day was made by the Council
in respect of these children. In June, 1931, however, the Council's payments
were increased to 9d. per day.

Necessitousness under this scheme is determined by the application of the "milk scale" (see p. 118). In the case of parents falling within the half price scale, the Council pays 4½-d. per day to the Nursery and the parent 4½d. Payments under this scheme amounted, during 1931, to £169 6s. 7d. The numbers of children and attendances since the commencement of this arrangement are shown in the following table :

Year.No. of Children.At full cost.At half cost.Total Attendances.
1929 (11 weeks)2039436430
1930 (Full)6945081244632

The Committee of this Nursery arrange to send children attending to
Hurstleigh, Sussex, for three weeks convalescence every year.
In order that children attending under the arrangement with the Borough
Council, to which reference has just been made, should also enjoy the benefits
of this change, the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee have agreed
to pay the sum of 2s. Gd. per week per child in addition to the usual Nursery
attendance fees (9d. per day). Under this arrangement eleven children were
sent away at a cost to the Borough over and above the usual attendance fees
of £3 17s. Gd.
In order to ensure continuity of feeding of the bottle fed babies attending
the Nursery at the Council's expense, the Maternity Committee have agreed
to pay for milk (wet or dry) supplied by the Nursery to the mothers of these
babies for feeds at night and during week-ends. The total cost incurred during
1931 was £1 17s. Gd. It is understood that the cost of these additional feeds
must not exceed 1s. 6d. per week per child.
The resident staff of the Nursery is as follows : Matron (Miss Faraker),
Nurse, twelve Probationers. Day Nursery Teacher (Maria Grey Training
College), Cook.
The cleaning and laundry staff are non-resident.