Information on the number and proportion of children aged three and four years old attending private, voluntary and independent settings for more than 12.5 hours a week was not collected prior to 2004. From 2004, data are available for four-year-old children only.
The available information about the number of three and four-year-olds in free early education, in private, voluntary and independent providers, by number of sessions and local authority area were published in Statistical First Release (SFR) 19/2007 “Provision for children under five years of age in England: January 2007”, available on my Department’s website at: www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000729/index .shtml The number of four-year-olds accessing five or more sessions can be found in table 6. Information for 2004-06 can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
I am advised that all local authorities have completed sufficiency assessments of childcare provision in their areas and have published them, as the Childcare Act 2006 requires, on their websites. I understand, however, that three local authorities have not yet published their assessments in final form because they are still awaiting formal clearance from the appropriate council body.