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This topic relates to the provision of education for children under five years of age in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors in England.

Publications

Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey:
Department: Education
The survey collects robust information on the key characteristics of childcare and early years provision and the early years workforce across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents:
Department: Education
This survey aims to provide up-to-date and accurate information on parents’ childcare arrangements and their views of particular childcare providers and childcare provision in general. It continues the time series that started in the late 1990s and has been used to monitor the progress of policies in the areas of childcare and early years education. The report describes in detail what childcare is used by different types of families, changes in take-up over the years, parents’ reasons for using or not using childcare and for choosing particular providers, and parents’ views on the providers they used and on childcare provision in their local area in general.
Children in Care in Northern Ireland Statistical Bulletin
Department: Health, Social Service and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
Formerly Outcome Indicators for Looked After Children. This statistical bulletin presents information on children who had been looked after continuously for 12 months or more at 30 September. It details information on their educational achievements at Key Stage assessments and GCSE/GNVQ, health assessments, current activity and cautions and convictions.
Children's Social Care Statistics in Northern Ireland
Department: Health, Social Service and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
This bulletin presents first release summary statistics on children's social care in Northern Ireland for year ending 31 March. Where data are available, each section will provide information on the latest annual figures including a Trust breakdown, detailed commentary, and an overview of how the latest annual figures compare to recent trends. The bulletin is based on Children Order Returns used to collect aggregated statistics on children in need, child protection and looked after children.
Northern Ireland Care Leavers Aged 16 - 18
Department: Health, Social Service and Public Safety (Northern Ireland)
Formerly Northern Ireland Care Leavers. This bulletin presents findings on the educational attainment and economic activity of young people aged 16 & over who left the care of Health & Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland, during the year ending 31 March.
Pre-school and childcare statistics, Scotland
Department: Scottish Government
Supply of childcare and pre-school provision and how many children receive care. Also includes information on the workforce and their qualifications.
Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England
Department: Education
Statistics on provision for children under five and include data on the numbers of three and four year old children benefiting from some free early years education.
Registered childcare providers and places
Department: Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
Statistics on the number of childcare providers registered with Ofsted on the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register, and the number of places offered by those registered on the Early Years Register.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.
Women in Northern Ireland
Department: Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland)
Statistics on women in Northern Ireland, labour market, childcare provision, earnings.

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Overview

Information on the provision of education for children under five is based on children aged three and four years old.

Topic areas include:

  • part-time equivalent number of free early education places filled by three- and four-year-olds

  • number of three- and four-year-olds benefiting from some free early education

  • number of three- and four-year-olds taking up any early education places

A funded place consists of a minimum of 12.5 hours of early education per week for 38 weeks of the year. The number of children benefiting from some free early education exceeds the PTE (part-time equivalent) number of places filled because places can be filled by more than one child (for example, one place could be filled by two children who take up less than the full free entitlement of 12.5 hours a week).

All four-year-olds have been entitled to a free early education place since 1998 and from April 2004 this entitlement was extended to all three-year-olds.

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Technical Data

Data are collected on the Early Years Census, from all 150 local authorities, and provides the Department for Education with child level information on take-up of free nursery education. Census day is the third Thursday in January each year, and information is based on either the status on that day or during that week, depending on the nature of the question.

Information collected includes the number of hours a child attends an Early Years provider, and of these how many are funded by the Government. This data can then be aggregated to provide information on the part-time equivalent number of places filled and also the number of three- and four-year-olds benefiting from some free early education.

Although figures are derived mainly from the Early Years Census, they also include figures from the School Census (formerly Annual School Census), such as information on three- and four-year-olds taking up early education places in maintained and independent schools. The School Census collects data on the number of three- and four-year-olds benefiting from some early years education in maintained and independent schools, at January of each year.

Population estimates are derived from mid-year estimates and projections provided by the
Office for National Statistics (ONS). They are subject to a margin of error and should be considered to be approximations.

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Glossary

  • Actual number of children benefiting from some free early education

    Children are counted once even if they take up free provision at more than one provider.

  • Children benefiting from some free early education

    Number of funded children. Children are counted twice if they receive funded provision at two different providers. NOTE: The number of children benefiting from some free early education exceeds the PTE number of places filled because places can be filled by more than one child, for example, one place could be filled by two children who take up less than the full free entitlement of 12.5 hours a week.

  • Children taking up any early education places

    Number of funded and non-funded children. Includes some non-funded provision in private, voluntary and independent providers.

  • EYC

    Early Years Census

  • Funded Hours

    The total number of hours funded per week by the LA for the child at the provider.

  • Part-Time Equivalent place

    This is equal to 12.5 hours per week. Children do not necessarily take up their full entitlement so one PTE funded place may be taken up by more than one child accessing less than their full entitlement. 

  • PTE

    Part-Time Equivalent

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Contact Details

For statistical enquiries about this topic, please contact:

Department for Education

Email: mailbox.dataoutputsunit@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 132 539 2283

Data Outputs Unit Department for Education Mowden Hall Staindrop Road Darlington DL3 9BG

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