Early years provider survey 2019

The Department for Education has published its Childcare and Early Years Providers survey for 2019.Department for Education logo

However, it states that it can’t be compared with previous surveys because it has excluded data from school-based providers who offer reception classes but not nursery provision.

Key statistics include:

  • There are an estimated 23,300 private and voluntary providers in England
  • PVI places have increased slightly since 2018 – they also have more spare capacity than childminders and schools
  • 73% of overall delivery costs are staffing costs for group-based providers
  • 53% of PVI nurseries had increased their fees (private nurseries by 59%)
  • 84% of private nurseries have signed up to Tax-Free Childcare – only 46% of schools have signed up
  • 74% of group based providers had at least one child with SEND – school based only 80% so not much more


Stella Ziolkowski, NDNA’s Director of Quality and Training, said: “It’s very difficult to see the sector trends from the last few years because of the way that the data has been presented this year. The report itself acknowledges that we can’t compare it with last year’s survey report.

“However, we know that many providers have faced closure, with numbers of nurseries closing their doors up by 153% since the 30 hour policy began.

“The report also reveals increasing numbers of nurseries raising their fees, an obvious response to the funding shortfall and rising business costs.

“NDNA will be raising this with the DfE. We will be asking them why the reporting has changed in this way and what the implications are of these new figures. For example, there are 8,000 fewer providers in 2019 offering 1.1 million fewer places which looks like a concerning picture. Taking out the excluded school-based provider places from 2018, providers this year are still offering 406,000 fewer places than last year. We want to know why.”

Read the full report here.