Further fall in children attending early years settings, latest Government figures show

Kathy Oxtoby
Thursday, July 29, 2021

The latest data on children attending early years childcare settings shows a further drop in numbers.

The number of children attending nursery and childminding settings has fallen in the last fortnight, the latest official figures have shown.


The DfE estimates that 727,000 children were attending early years childcare settings on 22 July - about 45 per cent of the number of children who usually attend childcare in term time. This is down from 875,000 on 8 July.



Current attendance in early years settings was at 63 per cent of the usual daily level, according to an estimate by the DfE.


The most recent figures on ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus outbreak’, were published 27 July.

Ordinarily, fewer early years settings are open and fewer children are in attendance during school holidays. This is due to reduced demand for childcare and the closure of school-based settings, the DfE said.


On a typical day in the Summer term, attendance is expected to be 1,154,000, due to different and part-time patterns of childcare during the week, the department said.


However, due to many children attending early years settings on a part-time basis, the DfE said it would not expect all children to be in attendance on the day of the data collection.


The DfE has been collecting local authority-level data on early years childcare provision since April 2020 on a weekly, and more recently fortnightly, basis.


However, the department is proposing to stop collecting early years attendance statistics at the end of the summer term, ‘unless there are significant changes to guidance around attendance at early years settings in relation to Covid-19’, it stated.


  • The latest figures are available here 

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