Official Statistics

Childcare and early years providers survey: 2011

This report covers the latest findings from the Department for Education's regular survey of childcare and early years providers. The survey collects information on the characteristics of both providers and the workforce, including number of places and children and the qualifications of staff.



Reference Id: OSR18/2012

Publication type: Statistical release

Publication data: Pre-release access data

Region: England

Release date: 31 January 2013

Coverage status: Final

Publication status: Recently updated

The 2011 childcare and early years providers survey is the latest report in a series of surveys that began in 1998. The 2011 report provides information on the key characteristics of childcare and early years provision and the early years workforce across the public, private and voluntary sectors. This includes information on:

  • provider characteristics
  • number of places and children attending
  • staff characteristics
  • qualifications of staff
  • profitability of providers

Key breakdowns are by types of providers, region, and levels of deprivation.

Where appropriate, comparisons are made with previous waves of the survey, largely the 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2006 waves.

Key findings

  • In 2011 the survey recorded 107,900 childcare and early years providers in England, of which 15,700 were early years providers in maintained schools and 92,200 were childcare providers. This marks a slight increase from the figures in 2010, when the survey recorded a total of 105,100 childcare and early years settings.
  • The survey recorded a total of 48,800 active childminders in 2011, an increase of 3% on the 47,400 who were active in 2010.
  • In 2011, there were an estimated 462,500 vacancies across all types of provider, compared to an estimated 440,800 vacancies in 2010. There were 134,600 vacancies in full day care settings.
  • In 2011 the estimated total number of paid and unpaid staff stands at 426,500. The total number of staff working across all childcare and early years settings decreased by 2% between 2010 and 2011, this include both paid and unpaid staff. There was a marked decrease in the number of unpaid staff, which fell by 19% between 2010 and 2011.
  • The large majority of staff in group-based childcare settings had a relevant qualification at level 3 (79%) in 2011. This is a significant increase from the figure of 65% in 2007 and marks progress from the 2010 figure of 76%. The proportion of childminders with a level 3 qualification had also increased, from 54% in 2010 to 59% in 2011.
  • The proportion of settings reporting that they had made a profit was on a par with the proportions seen in 2010. Amongst full day care settings, the proportion making a loss fell from 19% in 2010 to 12% in 2011. In sessional settings the equivalent decrease was from 20% to 14%, while holiday clubs fell from 23% in 2010 to 18% in 2011.

Explanatory note about amendments

Amendments have been made to the childcare and early years providers survey 2011 following the identification of a small issue with certain weights in the dataset that had been applied to the ‘other paid staff’ from sessional childcare settings. This resulted in minor errors in some of the tables covering pay (chapter 5) and qualifications (chapter 6) for sessional providers.

Maura Lantrua
0114 274 2064

Published 31 January 2013