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NEWS: Ofsted figures show continued decline in providers in England

Ofsted has published its latest set of figures for the early years and childcare workforce, showing a continued decline in the number of providers on its registers in England. Over the last year (between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022) the overall number of registered providers declined by around 4,000, the largest decline since 2015/16. The least deprived areas of England saw the largest proportion of this decline in comparison to the most deprived areas.


The overall number of childminders registered with Ofsted continues to decline, with too few joining the sector to counteract those leaving. The number of new childminders joining the sector at the end of March 2022 was 880, however 3,190 left the sector – the largest number of leavers in a data release since 2015.




Total number of

registered childminders

% Decline

31 March 2021





31 August 2021





31 December 2021





31 March 2022





Source: Ofsted Official Statistics
Helen Donohoe, PACEY Policy Advisor comments:

"These concerning figures confirm what we already knew - the sector is facing its most challenging period with largest drop in early years and childcare providers in more than six years, driven mainly by the sustained decline in childminders.

"Despite the significant challenges facing them, practitioners clearly remain committed to provide a high-quality service for children and families, with 97% of childminders receiving good or outstanding at their most recent inspection, an increase on the previous year. But without urgent action to address the quantity of practitioners joining and remaining in the sector, families will soon lose out on the benefit of this quality, flexible provision.

"The Prime Minister’s recent commitment to ‘make it easier to be a childminder’ needs to be accompanied by meaningful action that addresses underfunding, low morale and low earnings in the workforce. It is key that Government listens to childminders and the wider sector about what is needed to support them to remain sustainable and to raise the profile of the profession. PACEY will be ensuring that members have the chance to make their voices heard on this."