Alliance responds to Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents

Almost twothirds (64%) of children aged 0 to 4 received formal childcare in 2019 and receipt of formal childcare rose with age, being used by 11% of 0 yea rolds, 36% of 1 year olds, 57% of 2 year olds, 84% of 3 year olds, and 93% of 4 year olds.

However, whether or not a child accessed a childcare place could depend on the deprivation level of their local area: 74% of children living in the least deprived areas received formal childcare, compared to 57% of children living in the most deprived areas.

A copy of the report is available here: 

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:
“The value of a quality early education is now recognised by most parents and today’s figures show that more and more of them are accessing a formal childcare place.

“That makes it all the more concerning however that a third of children in the most deprived areas are going without professional care and education at a crucial time in their lives. These are the children who stand to gain the most from quality childcare provision and we must do more to ensure they are able to access it because, at the moment, we are clearly not doing enough.

“Give-aways like funded hours and tax-free childcare are always going to be popular with parents struggling to pay the bills but a more serious and sustainable approach to the early years is needed. There are perhaps no simple solutions to ensure all children access early education but, if this new government is serious about helping our most disadvantaged communities, then funding levels need to increase and policy that better targets support where its impact will be greatest should be considered.”


About the Alliance

  • The Early Years Alliance is the largest and most representative early years membership organisation in England. A registered educational charity, it also provides high-quality affordable childcare and education to support children and families in areas of deprivation throughout the country.
  • The Alliance represents 14,000 members and supports them to deliver care and learning to more than 800,000 families every year. We deliver family learning projects, offer information and advice, produce specialist publications, run acclaimed training programmes and campaign to influence early years policy and practice.
  • The Alliance website is