More than 500 childcare providers closing each month
By Rachel Lawler
Early years settings in England are closing at a rate of more than 500 a month, according to statistics released by Ofsted.
The figures show that between April and August 2018, an average of 577 early years settings closed – including 196 nurseries and pre-schools and 381 childminders – each month.
Between September and December 2018, an average of 554 providers closed each month – including 164 nurseries and pre-schools and 390 childminders.
Between January and March 2019, an average of 580 providers closed each month – including 179 pre-schools and nurseries and 401 childminders.
The statistics were revealed by Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman in response to a Parliamentary Question from shadow early years minister Tracy Brabin, who asked Ofsted: “How many Ofsted registered a) nurseries and b) childminder have closed for business in each of the last 12 months?”
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: “We have long warned that without adequate funding, many early years providers would be forced to close their doors and these figures sadly confirm that this is exactly what has been happening.
“To lose well over 500 nurseries, pre-schools and childminders every month is simply not sustainable. If more isn’t done to ensure that the sector is adequately funded as a matter of priority, we are going to have a genuine childcare crisis on our hands in this country before too long.
“With a general election now imminent, we know that our sector is likely to once again be used as a political football, as the various political parties fight to out-do each other with their promises of ‘free childcare’ to parents without taking the time to ensure that their sums actually add up.
“These figures show where such an approach leads. As such, in the run-up to 12 December, we urge all political parties not to make outlandish, uncosted and ill-thought-out pledges, but rather, to engage with the sector and commit to ensuring that providers are given the funding they need to remain sustainable in the long-term.”
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