Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID-19
The Department for Education commissioned an online survey with childcare providers entitled the ‘Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID-19’. A nationally representative sample of group-based providers were invited to complete a 5-10-minute online survey. With the aim to understand how childcare providers have responded to the pandemic, the status of childcare provision and any potential longer-term consequences for the childcare market.
- Open, reduced hours, Group-based Early Years Providers (GBPs) and Childminders stated a lack of demand from parents as the reason behind reduced opening days or hours (53% and 83%, respectively). School-based Nurseries (SBNs) stating that they were operating at reduced hours because they cannot adhere to COVID-19 related infection and prevention control measures if open for more hours.
- 70% of open GBPs were open for five days a week, compared to 95% before COVID-19. 46% of open Childminders were open for five days a week, compared with 71% of open Childminders before COVID-19.
- 12% of open GBPs were open for more than 10 hours per, compared to 27% of open GBPs before COVID-19. With 12% of open Childminders open, compared with 34% of open Childminders before COVID-19.
Expectations for September
- 90% of open or temporarily closed GBPs expected to be open for 5 days a week in September, compared to 93% who were open 5 days a week before COVID-19.
- 62% of open or temporarily closed Childminders expected to be open 5 days a week in September, compared to 70% before COVID-19.
GBPs and Childminders found that approximately half the average number of three- and four-year olds expected in a typical week attended the childcare setting at the time of the survey. SBNs stated approximately one third of three- and four-year olds attended.
Open GBPs and SBNs saw a reduction in their full-time staff numbers. With GBPs having an average of 11 paid staff and SBNs having 16 paid staff, this was reduced to an average of 8 staff for GPBs and 14 staff for SBNs.
76% of open GBPs made use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme compared to 14% of open SBNs. Open SBNs had an average of 1 staff furloughed and open GBPs had an average of 3 staff furloughed. SBNs receive most of their funding from the free entitlements, which may account for their reduced use of the scheme.
Typically, childminders received, on average, 79% of their income from parent-paid fees. For GBPs, parent-paid fees made up 50% of their income and for SBNs it made up 10% of their income. On average SBNs, GBPs and Childminders all saw a reduction in weekly parent paid fees.
When asked on what they knew about the current situation and upcoming developments for how long they were reasonably confident that it would be financially sustainable to continue to run their childcare provision, 45% of open GBPs and 55% of open Childminders reported that it will be financially sustainable to continue for another year or longer.