Skip to main content

Children: Day Care

Question for Department for Education

UIN 57225, tabled on 15 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) support the sustainability of the childcare sector and (b) facilitate access to affordable and high-quality early years providers.

Answered on

20 October 2021

Early years are a vital part of a child’s education, enabling them to develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills that set them up for life.

To facilitate access to affordable and high-quality early years provision, we have spent over £3.5 billion in each of the past 3 years on the government’s early years entitlements. This financial year the department is investing £44 million for local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers.

The department is also investing £180 million on education recovery in the early years, to support the youngest children’s learning and development.

With regard to sustainability, despite the reduction in the number of children in the age range for early years provision, the number of childcare places on Ofsted’s early years register has remained broadly stable since August 2015, at around 1.3 million places.

Ofsted also has regard to the early years foundation stage framework in carrying out its inspections and reporting on the quality and standards of early years provision and, overall, quality in this sector is very high with 96% of all childcare providers on Ofsted’s early years register judged either Good or Outstanding at their most recent inspection, the highest level ever.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.