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Latest Ofsted provider statistics

The latest childcare providers and places statistics from Ofsted has been published and the results reveal that despite a decline in the total number of registered childcare providers, the overall number of places offered by Early Years providers has increased.

Key findings

  • A total of 90,972 childcare providers were registered with Ofsted at 31 August 2014. This includes providers on the Early Years Register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register. This is a net decrease of 1,279 (one per cent) of all registered providers since 31 March 2014. The number of providers of childcare on domestic and non-domestic premises has remained reasonably stable but the number of childminders and home childcarers has fallen.
  • Of the total registered childcare providers, 76,131 (84%) are on the Early Years Register. About two thirds of these are childminders and one third are providers of childcare on non-domestic premises. Although fewer in number, childcare on non-domestic premises (such as nurseries and pre-schools) are the larger providers and provide 1,026,061 (79%) of the places available for children.
  • The number of places offered by providers on the Early Years Register has increased by 1,437 places to a total of 1,292,554 places. This is despite a net decrease of 1,378 providers on the register, 1,373 of which were childminders.
  • Of all registered providers, 13,003 (14%) are only on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register (VCR). Eighty five per cent of all providers only on this register are home childcarers such as nannies. The last five months have seen a total decrease of 101 home childcarers. Numbers have been falling since September 2013 but this decrease is considerably smaller than the fall of 926 seen in the previous six months between 31 September 2013 and 31 March 2014.

Liz Bayram, PACEY's chief executive, comments: “It is concerning to see a decline in the total number of registered childcare providers, and particularly in the number of registered childminders. A healthy and robust childcare sector must offer a flexible choice of childcare setting for parents, and the decline in childminders threatens this. The data reveals that the number of childcare places however has increased, most likely a result of the government's extension of free early education to disadvantaged 2-year-olds.

It is clear the childcare sector is changing, with some providers expanding their places. One aspect of this is the number of registered childminders employing childminding assistants. Separate Ofsted data shows around 15,000 registered childminders now employ at least one childminding assistant. This means more childminder settings can offer more childcare places overall and offer valuable support for families.

PACEY will continue to do all it can to ensure that Local Authorities fulfil their statutory duty to provide sufficient childcare places for their local communities, including recruiting new childminders, and provide existing childminders with the right level of support to help them remain within the profession.”