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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-august-2018/childcare-providers-and-inspections-as-at-31-august-2018-main-findings
This release contains:
the number of Ofsted registered childcare providers and places, and their most recent inspections and outcomes on 31 August 2018
the number of providers that have registered with Ofsted (joiners) and the number of providers that have left (leavers) between 31 March 2018 and 31 August 2018
The number of childminders registered with Ofsted has continued to decrease.
There were 40,800 childminders registered with Ofsted on 31 August 2018. This was down by 900 (2%) since 31 March 2018, and by 16,600 (29%) since 31 August 2012.
The number of non-domestic providers has increased slightly.
There were 27,300 childcare providers on non-domestic premises on 31 August 2018. There were more non-domestic joiners than leavers between 31 March 2018 and 31 August 2018.
More than 9 in 10 providers on the Early Years Register were judged to be good or outstanding.
The proportion of childcare providers on the Early Years Register judged to be good or outstanding was 95%. This remained broadly the same as 31 March 2018, but represents an increase of 21 percentage points since 31 August 2012.
The proportion of childminders judged to be good or outstanding is nearing that of non-domestic providers.
On 31 August 2018, 94% of childminders were judged good or outstanding compared with 95% of non-domestic providers.
Figure 1: Overall effectiveness of active early years registered providers at their most recent inspection over time
The early years and childcare sector is primarily made up of private nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. Early years provision is categorised into 4 provider types:
|Type of provider||Description|
|Childcare on non-domestic premises||Nurseries, pre-schools, holiday clubs and other private provision on business premises, usually registered on the Early Years Register (EYR) because they look after children aged 0 to 5.|
|Childminders||People who are paid to look after one or more children they are not related to in a home that is not the child’s. The majority are registered on the EYR because they look after children aged 0 to 5, but those who look after 5 to 7 year olds need to register on the Childcare Register (CR).|
|Childcare on domestic premises||Where 4 or more people look after children together in a home that is not the child’s. The majority are registered on the EYR and some are registered on the CR, depending on the age of the children they look after.|
|Home childcarers (nannies)||Individuals who care for children aged 0 to 18 wholly or mainly in the child’s own home. They are not required to register with Ofsted but may choose to do so on the Voluntary Childcare Register (VCR).|
Childcare on non-domestic premises and childminders make up the majority of early years provision registered with Ofsted. Further information about provider types is available in the glossary.
Childcare in early years also occurs in the schools sector. This takes place in state-funded nurseries, early years provision within maintained schools and academies, and within independent schools.
Early years childcare in the schools sector is discussed in more detail in the Early years provision in the schools sector section of this document.
2. Number of providers
2.1 Changes in provider numbers, by provider type
There were 78,900 childcare providers registered with Ofsted on 31 August 2018, down by 1% (800) since 31 March 2018. The number of providers has fallen by 18% since 31 August 2012 (Figure 2), when we revised our previous inspection framework1.
40,800 providers on 31 August 2018, down 900 since 31 March 2018. This continues a downward trend, with 29% fewer providers than at 31 August 2012.
Childcare on non-domestic premises
27,300 providers on 31 August 2018, up by fewer than 100 since 31 March 2018. Numbers are fairly stable over time, having decreased by just 2% since 31 August 2012.
10,700 providers on 31 August 2018, an increase of fewer than 100 since 31 March 2018. Numbers are fairly stable over time and at a similar level to those seen on 31 August 2012.
Childcare on domestic premises
These are not included in Figure 2 as there is only a very small number registered with Ofsted (200 on 31 August 2018).
Figure 2: Total number of childcare providers registered with Ofsted on any register over time, by provider type
2.2 Factors influencing changes in provider numbers
Overall, childcare provider numbers have decreased steadily since August 2012. This can be attributed to a large decrease in childminders, a smaller decrease in non-domestic providers, and no notable change in the number of home childcarers (Figure 2).
Between March and August 2018, 2,100 childminders left the sector and 1,200 joined – a net decrease of 9001. The childminders who left the register during this period had been registered for around 9 years on average (based on the assumption that they left the register on 31 August 2018).
The number of non-domestic providers has increased slightly since 31 March 2018. Since March 2015, the number of non-domestic providers has decreased by 3%. This could be explained in part by the legislative change introduced in May 2015, making schools exempt from registration on the Early Years Register (EYR) if they look after children aged 2 or over. As a consequence many schools providing childcare for 2 year olds are not on the EYR.
3. Number of places
3.1 Registers and places
On 31 August 2018, 80% of Ofsted registered childcare providers were on the Early Years Register (EYR). The remaining 20% were not on the EYR, and so only appeared on the voluntary (VCR) and/or compulsory (CCR) parts of the Childcare Register (CR). More information about the different register types is available in the glossary.
In July 2018, Ofsted moved to a new administrative database system for recording information on providers and inspections. Due to this move, the way places data is recorded has been improved. As a result, the number of places including estimates has risen by 11,700 compared with the last release. Most of this increase is due to the change in systems, rather than a substantive change in the number of places offered by providers.
More information on this change is available in our quality and methodology report accompanying this release.
Childcare places data refers to all places offered by providers on the EYR. This may include places made available to children up to the age of 8 because the provider is also on the CR. Therefore, the number of places in the early years age range (0 to 5 year olds) is likely to be lower.
Places data is recorded at registration and then updated at inspection. Therefore, the timeliness of the information could vary depending on when the provider was last inspected.
While the majority of providers on the EYR have places information recorded, for some providers estimates have been calculated. For more information on the estimation process, see Number of places in the glossary.
For non-domestic providers, their number of places reflects the number of children they intend to provide childcare for at any one time. Providers have no prescribed maximum limit on the number of places they can offer. However, they are required to have suitable premises for their capacity and an appropriate ratio of staff to children.
For childminders, the maximum number of places that they can offer if they do not have any assistants is 6. All childminders are recorded as offering 6 places at registration. This is updated at inspection. On 31 August 2018, 73% of childminders on the EYR were registered as offering 6 places. The total number of childminder places available may be lower.
In summary, it is likely that the data for non-domestic providers is more representative of the number of places they provide in practice than it is for childminders.
3.2 Providers and places
Despite decreasing numbers of childminders, the number of childcare places has remained broadly stable since August 2012 (Figure 3). While childminder places decreased slightly between March 2018 and August 2018, there was a larger increase in the number of places offered by childcare on non-domestic premises. On 31 August 2018, there were 1.3 million childcare places offered by providers on the EYR.
Looking at the number of childcare places by provider type1, on 31 August 2018:
Childcare on non-domestic premises
Offered 81% (1.1 million) of all childcare places, which is an increase of 2 percentage points since August 2012.
Offered 19% (249,200) of all places, a decrease of 2 percentage points since August 2012.
Childcare on domestic premises
Offered less than 1% (4,900) of places. These are not shown in Figure 3 due to the small number of places offered.
Figure 3: Childcare places on the Early Years Register over time, by provider type2
Childminder provider numbers on the EYR have decreased by 30% since 31 August 2012, but the number of places offered by childminders has only decreased by 12%. This means that individual childminders are offering a higher number of places on average, even though there are fewer childminders and places overall.
On 31 August 2018, the average number of places offered by childminders on the EYR was 6.4. However, for reasons outlined earlier in this section, the majority of childminders are registered as offering 6 places. This average takes into account childminders with assistants, who are permitted to offer more than 6 places.
3.3 Introduction of 30 hours free childcare
Since 1 September 2017, working parents of 3 and 4 year olds in England have been eligible for 30 hours of free childcare. In January 2018, there were around 296,900 3 and 4 year olds benefiting from a 30 hours place. Estimates suggest around 390,000 children were eligible for the extended hours nationally, suggesting around 3 out of 4 eligible children have taken up some extended hours.
This may have contributed to the slight rise in the number of EYR places in childcare on non-domestic premises.
4. Inspection outcomes
New providers joining the Early Years Register (EYR) are normally inspected within 30 months of registration. The Being inspected as a childminder or childcare provider guidance provides more information about inspection. On 31 August 2018, 51,200 (81%) providers on the EYR had received a full inspection3. The majority of providers not yet inspected joined the EYR within the last 2 years.
4.1 Proportion of providers on the EYR judged good or outstanding
On 31 August 2018, 95% of childcare providers on the EYR were judged to be good or outstanding. This remained broadly the same as 31 March 2018, but is a substantial increase from 31 August 2012 when the proportion was 74%. This increase can be attributed to a steady rise in the proportion of providers judged good, with a smaller increase in the proportion of providers judged outstanding (Figure 1). This change is discussed in further detail below.
Looking at the 2 main provider types on 31 August 2018 (Figure 4) 4:
Childcare on non-domestic premises
At their most recent inspection, 95% were judged to be good or outstanding, the same proportion as the end of March 2018. This was made up of 72% of childcare on non-domestic premises judged good and 23% judged outstanding.
At their most recent inspection, 94% were judged good or outstanding, the same proportion as the end of March 2018. This was made up of 78% of childminders judged good and 16% judged outstanding.
Figure 4: Percentage of childminders and non-domestic providers judged good or outstanding at their most recent full inspection over time
4.2 Changes in the proportion of childminders judged good or outstanding
Since the beginning of August 2016, Ofsted has prioritised inspections for childminders who had been previously judged requires improvement (RI) or inadequate.
On 31 August 2018, 92% of childminders who were previously judged RI or inadequate, improved to good or outstanding at their most recent inspection. This improvement has a double effect: as the number of good or outstanding childminders increases, the number of RI or inadequate childminders decreases.
Other factors have influenced this upward trend in the long term. Firstly, providers are more likely to be judged good or outstanding at their first inspection than they were in August 2012. On 31 August 2012, 72% of providers were judged good or outstanding at their first full EYR inspection compared with 81% on 31 August 2018.
Secondly, providers leaving the sector are more likely to have had inspection judgements of RI or inadequate than those that remain. Of all providers who have been inspected since September 2012 and since left the sector, 25% were judged RI or inadequate.
4.3 Changes in the proportion of childcare on non-domestic premises judged good or outstanding
Over time, the proportion of childcare on non-domestic premises judged good or outstanding has seen a steady increase. Part of this increase can be attributed to a change in the childcare inspection policy. Since November 2013, all childcare on non-domestic premises judged requires improvement must be re-inspected within 12 months. This means that non-domestic providers have had more opportunity to demonstrate improvement than they did previously.
4.4 Regional inspection outcomes
On 31 August 2018, all regions had fairly similar proportions of providers judged good or outstanding. The North East had the highest proportion (97%) and London the lowest (92%).
Across the regions, non-domestic providers had a higher or similar proportion of providers judged good or outstanding compared with childminders. The South West region was the only exception, where the proportion of childminders judged good or outstanding was higher than non-domestic providers (Table 1).
Table 1: Percentage of childminders and non-domestic providers judged good or outstanding on 31 August 2018, by region
|Region||Childcare on non-domestic premises (%)||Childminder (%)|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||95||94|
|East of England||96||96|
Additional information on local authorities and parliamentary constituencies can be found in the provider level data file accompanying this release.
5. Childminder agencies
Childminder agencies were introduced in September 2014, enabling new childminders to choose to register with Ofsted directly or register with an agency. Existing childminders could also choose to deregister with Ofsted and register instead with a childminder agency. Childminder agencies have the responsibility of inspecting the childminders who are registered with them, with Ofsted inspecting the childminder agencies.
Childminder agencies are only eligible for inspection when they have childminders on roll. There are only 2 overall effectiveness inspection outcomes: ‘Effective’ and ‘Ineffective’. On 31 August 2018, 11 childminder agencies were registered with Ofsted. Of these, 6 had childminders on roll and were therefore eligible for inspection. All 6 childminder agencies have been inspected to date and all have been judged ‘Effective’.
Data for childminder agencies can be found in the provider level data file accompanying this release.
6. Early years provision in the schools sector
Childcare in early years also occurs in the schools sector. This takes place in state-funded nurseries and early years provision within state-funded schools and academies.
On 31 August 2018, there were 398 state-funded nursery schools in England. Of these, 396 had been inspected and 98% received a grade of good or outstanding at their most recent inspection.
In state-funded schools and academies, early years provision is given its own judgement as part of the overall inspection of the school. Of all early years provision inspected in state-funded schools and academies, 88% were judged good or outstanding on 31 August 2018. This is based on those schools that had an early years judgement at their most recent school inspection. Ofsted did not provide separate graded judgements on the overall effectiveness of early years between January 2012 and August 2014. If the most recent inspection of the school was a short inspection that confirmed the school was still good or outstanding overall, a separate judgement for early years was not provided.
For more information on school inspections and outcomes, please refer to Ofsted’s official statistics on state-funded schools inspections and outcomes.
Many independent schools also provide nursery provision. The most recent published data on non-association independent schools relates to the sector on 31 August 2018. For more information on non-association independent schools inspections and outcomes, please see Ofsted’s management information release on non-association independent schools.
Please note that Ofsted only inspects non-association independent schools. Association independent schools are inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) or the School Inspection Service (SIS).
An explanation about main uses of this data, further contextual information and the arrangements for quality assurance is provided in the methodology and quality report accompanying this release.
The methodology and quality report also provides information on the strengths and limitations of the statistics.
7.1 Revisions to previous release
The provisional data in the previous release related to inspections which took place between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2018 and were published by 30 April 2018. A revised list of inspections in this period is provided in Tables 14 to 19 of the ‘Childcare providers and inspections charts and tables’ document for this release. This revised data includes 8 inspections that were published by 30 September 2018 (that were not published by 30 April 2018).
These revisions did not result in any changes to the main findings identified in the previous publication.
Revisions to data in this publication are published in line with Ofsted’s revisions policy for official statistics.
7.2 Common Inspection Framework (CIF)
Inspections from 1 September 2015 were carried out under the Common Inspection Framework (CIF), meaning that the inspection judgements are common across the Early Years, Schools and Further Education and Skills remits. Ofsted evaluates the overall quality and standards of the early years provision in line with the principles and requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework. Inspectors judge the overall effectiveness of the early years provision, taking into account 4 judgements:
- quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- personal development, behaviour and welfare
- effectiveness of leadership and management
- outcomes for children
Ofsted is required to inspect all providers who were on the Early Years Register (EYR) on 1 August 2016 at least once by 31 July 2020. Providers who register after this date will normally be inspected within 30 months of registration.
Under the Childcare Act 2006 childcare providers register on either or both of 2 registers:
8.1 Early Years Register (EYR)
The EYR is for providers who care for children in the early years age group, from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday. Registration is compulsory for such providers and they must meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
All providers on the EYR are inspected on a 4 year cycle. The last inspection cycle ran from 1 September 2012 to 31 July 2016. The current inspection cycle runs from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2020.
8.2 Childcare Register (CR)
The CR is for providers who care for children from birth to 18 years. It has 2 parts:
Compulsory Childcare Register (CCR) – for providers caring for children from 1 September after the child’s fifth birthday up until their eighth birthday
Voluntary Childcare Register (VCR) – for providers for whom registration is not compulsory, for example nannies, or providers who care for children aged 8 and over
Providers who are registered on either part of the Childcare Register do not need to submit their places information to Ofsted.
For providers registered on the Childcare Register, Ofsted inspects a sample of 10% of active providers per year.
Venn diagram showing the Ofsted registers for childcare providers
8.3 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The EYFS is the statutory framework for the early education and care of children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday.
8.4 Childcare providers
Childcare providers care for at least one individual child for a total of more than 2 hours in any one day. This is not necessarily a continuous period of time. They must register on the CCR to care for children under the age of 8, although there may be some exceptions to this. They can register on the VCR to care for older children.
8.5 Domestic premises
These are any premises which are wholly or mainly used as a private dwelling, i.e. someone’s home.
8.6 Childcare providers on domestic and non-domestic premises
If 4 or more people look after children at any one time in someone’s home, they are providing childcare on domestic premises, not childminding.
Childcare providers on non-domestic premises are people or organisations providing care for individual children in premises that are not someone’s home. These premises can range from converted houses to purpose-built nurseries.
This is a person who is registered to look after one or more children, to whom they are not related, for reward. Childminders work on domestic premises alongside no more than 2 other childminders or assistants. They must register if they care for children under the age of 8, and can choose to register if they care for older children. They care for:
children on domestic premises that are not usually the home of one of the children unless they care for children from more than 2 families, wholly or mainly in the homes of the families
at least one individual child for a total of more than 2 hours in any day (not necessarily a continuous period of time)
8.8 Childminder agencies
Childminder agencies were introduced in September 2014 as an alternative registration option for childminders. Childminders who register with an agency no longer need to register or be inspected by Ofsted, although the agency itself will receive an inspection.
Childminder agencies are only eligible for inspection by Ofsted when they have childminders on roll. Childminder agencies have the responsibility of inspecting the childminders who are registered with them.
8.9 Home childcarers
Home childcarers are usually nannies who care for children of any age up to their 18th birthday wholly or mainly in the child’s own home, and care for children from no more than 2 families. They are not required to register with Ofsted but may choose to do so on the voluntary part of the Childcare Register.
8.10 Inspection cycles
All providers on the Early Years Register which were registered before the start of Ofsted’s 4 year inspection cycle are inspected within the cycle. The previous inspection cycle ran from 1 September 2012 to 31 July 2016. The current inspection cycle runs from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2020. New providers joining the EYR are normally inspected within 30 months of registration. For providers on the CCR, a sample of 10% of active providers are inspected per year.
8.11 No Children on Roll (NCOR)
If there are no children present on the day of the provider’s inspection, they receive an NCOR inspection. The inspector will make a judgement on the ‘Overall quality and standards of the early years provision’, with 3 possible outcomes:
- not met – actions
- not met – enforcement action
8.12 Number of places
Registered places are the number of children that may attend the provision at any one time. Registered places are not the number of places occupied, nor the number of children who may benefit from receiving places through providers offering sessions at different times of the day. Place numbers are only collected for providers on the EYR. Provider type averages are used to estimate the number of places for a very small number of providers whose place numbers are not available at the time of the analysis. There may also be small discrepancies in totals due to rounding.
8.13 Joiners and leavers
Joiners are childcare providers that have registered with Ofsted during this reporting period. Most of these are new registrations, but Tables 3 and 4 and Chart 1 within the ‘Childcare providers and inspections charts and tables’ document also include providers with re-activated registrations and those that have changed provider type or register. At local authority or regional level, this may also include providers that have relocated into a new geographical area.
Leavers are mostly childcare providers that have left Ofsted during the reporting period. Most of these are resignations, but some are also providers that have had their registration cancelled or have changed provider type or register. At local authority or regional level, this may also include providers that have relocated out of a geographical area.
9. Further information
Ofsted publishes the following information on the inspection of early years providers:
9.1 Contact for comments or feedback
If you have any comments or feedback on this publication, please contact Anita Patel on 03000 130 914 or Anita.Patel@ofsted.gov.uk.
9.2 Annual report
Findings from our forthcoming Annual Report will be published on 4 December 2018.
Thanks to the following for their contribution to this statistical release: Lucy Conway, Louis Noble, Tristan Browne and Helen Woodley.
Places data from August 2018 onwards is recorded in an updated administrative system and captures slightly more childcare places than previously. ↩
A small proportion of providers may have received a No Children on Roll inspection. These are excluded from the total number of providers on the EYR who have received an inspection. ↩
Percentages may not sum due to rounding. ↩