How many staff and children are absent – January quick poll

NDNA has put together a very short survey for all nurseries across England, Scotland and Wales to find out the proportion of members of staff and children who are currently absent from their early years setting.

The survey simply asks what percentage of usual numbers of staff and children are absent during this week (week commencing 10 January).

During the first week of January, we received responses from 471 settings across England, Scotland and Wales. The average staff absence rate was 21.7% which is extremely high; for children it was lower at 9.1%.

7.1% of respondents had no staff absent and 13% had no children absent
22.5% reported staff absence rates of more than one third and only 3% reported child absences at the same level
3.6% reported absence rates of 80% or higher
7.1% said they had no staff absences 
3.6% had more than 80% absence rates 

Results for Scotland:
Staff absence – 20.45% 
Child absence – 12.5%

Results for Wales:
Staff absence – 20.8% 
Child absence – 6.5%

Results for England:
Staff absence – 21.7% 
Child absence – 9.16%

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “Our snap poll for the first week back after Christmas shows that the current wave of cases is having a significant impact on staffing levels across nurseries. A picture of around one in five staff absent is emerging and 23% having a third or more of their staff off. Some settings told us they had more than 80% of their staff out in the course of the week.

“We know that Covid cases impacting on settings doubled in December and this trend is continuing into the New Year. This is why we welcome the clarity on staff flexibilities, trusting nurseries to judge how they can manage their settings safely and supporting continuing care and education for children. 

“Staff absences are at a higher rate than children’s which is why nurseries are facing the daily task of managing their rotas. It is important that regulators and governments in all nations understand enormous pressure the sector is under right now.

“Thank you to all settings who provided data for this important evidence. We are now looking at the most recent week so please fill in our short survey for week commencing 10 January so we continue to be able to show the latest picture from the front line.”
This data is vital to be able to lobby governments of all three nations to give much-needed support to the early years sector. Please fill this survey in whether you are a member of NDNA or not as we’re asking for support for the whole sector.

To access the survey go to this link which is being updated each week. We will be reporting regularly on the findings.