Pre-school Education: South West

Department for Education written question – answered on 21st June 2022.

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Photo of Darren Jones Darren Jones Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the number of nursery school places that were available in (a) North Swindon, (b) South Swindon, (c) Bournemouth East, (d) Bournemouth West, (e) Bristol East, (f) Bristol North West, (g) Bristol South, (h) Bristol West, (i) Exeter, (j) Filton and Bradley Stoke, (k) Kingswood and (l) Stroud constituency in (i) May 1997, (ii) May 2010, (iii) December 2019 and (iv) June 2022.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department continues to monitor the sufficiency of childcare. However, it does not hold figures on the number of places available in nursery classes in schools.

According to findings from the 2021 Childcare and early years providers survey, 7 in 10 group-based providers reported having spare places in their full day provision and almost half of childminders (49%) reported having spare capacity on average across the week. The survey is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2021.

The key measure of sufficiency is whether the supply of available places is sufficient to meet the requirements of parents and children, and Ofsted data currently shows that the number of places offered by providers on the Early Years Register has remained broadly stable since August 2015. The department also discusses sufficiency of provision in regular conversations with local authorities. Local authorities are not currently reporting any substantial sufficiency issues and we have not seen a substantial number of parents unable to secure a childcare place.

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