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Child Care

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 10 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of child care (a) places and (b) providers have closed in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (107547)

The available information is shown in the tables.

Table 1: Closure rate for child care providers and places

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

March to September 2006

Provider closure rate

Places closure rate

Provider closure rate

Places closure rate

Provider closure rate

Places closure rate

Provider closure rate

Places closure rate

Childminders

16.7

15.8

21.8

19.9

14.3

13.9

8.6

8.2

Full day care

9.7

8.4

14.5

12.7

9.7

8.6

5.3

4.8

Out of school

13.0

12.1

22.6

21.2

14.1

13.9

9.2

8.7

All

15.5

11.6

20.9

17.1

13.7

11.5

8.2

6.8

Source:

Ofsted

Ofsted data on closures include registered places in settings which are transferring ownership, and in settings which move from one Ofsted category to another, not just in those which are ceasing trading. For example, if a sessional provider moved to offering full day care provision, this would be recorded as a ‘closed’ sessional setting and an ‘opened’ full day care setting. The Ofsted data therefore exaggerate the true extent of turnover in terms of both the number of places and the number of providers.

Prior to April 2003 the method of collecting data from local authorities did not enable the calculation of a figure for the stock of child care providers or places. Therefore it is not possible to provide a percentage figure for the closures of providers or places for the periods 2001-02 and 2002-03.

Closure rates should be seen in the context of opening rates for the corresponding periods and are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Opening rate for child care providers and places

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

March to September 2006

Provider opening rate

Places opening rate

Provider opening rate

Places opening rate

Provider opening rate

Places opening rate

Provider opening rate

Places opening rate

Childminders

22.5

21.6

18.6

18.8

16.7

15.8

8.1

7.6

Full day care

22.6

24.8

23.3

24.6

17.5

17.0

8.8

8.0

Out of school

25.9

24.7

27.3

25.4

21.8

20.9

10.9

10.1

All

22.9

23.9

20.2

23.3

17.4

17.8

8.5

8.5

Source:

Ofsted

Ofsted have produced figures on the numbers of registered child care providers and places on a quarterly basis from March 2003. Their latest figures were published in their report, “Registered Childcare Providers and Places, September 2006”, which is available on their website,

www.Ofsted.gov.uk/.