Facts and figures

The childcare sector is always changing, but these facts and figures should give you an idea of its size.

If you have a specific question about any of the information below, please contact the press office directly.

Childcare sector statistics for England

Ofsted's official figures are published every six months, and you can see the most recent statistics at www.gov.uk.

Source - Department for Education Childcare and Early Years report, 2013 (published September 2014)

Read PACEY's sector survey, Building Blocks, last published in 2017.

Number of childcare providers offering different types of care

Full day care 17,900
Full day care in children’s centres 450
Sessional 7,100
Before school 12,800
After school 13,400
Holiday 7,200
Childminders - working 46,100
Childminders - registered 55,900
Nursery schools 400
Primary schools with nursery and reception classes 7,600
Primary schools with reception but no nursery classes 8,800


  • 47% of sessional settings reported an increase in fees in 2013, with a 53% increase amongst full day care settings.
  • 32% of out-of-school settings increased their fees in 2013.
  • Childminders were the least likely to have increased their fees, with only 23% having done so over the same period.
  • The proportion of sessional settings operating at a loss increased from 14% in 2011 to 21% in 2013.

Childcare sector statistics for Wales

Source – CSSIW Chief Inspector’s Annual Report 2013-2014 (published March 2015)

Number of childcare providers offering different types of care

Full day care


Registered childminders


Sessional day care


Open access play provision


Out of school care






Demographics and further information for Wales

  • There are 630,211 children and young people under 18 years in Wales; 555,165 are under the age of 16 years.
  • Approximately 195,000 children live in poverty in Wales
  • The 4446 registered childcare settings above provide 76,590 childcare places.
  • 660 non-maintained settings in Wales are funded by the local authorities to deliver Foundation Phase education for 3-4-year-olds.