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Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers

Daycare

Major research project that provides the Department for Education with the critical information needed to monitor and evaluate childcare and early years provision.

The Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers (SCEYP) is a major research project that produces official statistics about childcare and early years provision in England. It provides the Department for Education (DfE) with the critical information needed to monitor and evaluate childcare and early years provision. The most recent survey took place in 2019.

SCEYP did not take place in 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  However, DfE commissioned a web-tracker survey to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the early years sector.

Publications

An Official Statistics publication and associated tables from the 2019 survey were published by the Department for Education (DfE) in November 2019. The publication covers:

  • Overall figures on the number of childcare providers, registered places and spare capacity
  • Information about the childcare and early years workforce
  • The cost of providing childcare
  • Proportion of providers offering Funded Entitlement and Tax-Free childcare
  • Proportion of providers with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

A separate Official Statistics publication covering LA Fees was also released in November 2019. This covers hourly fees by a range of demographics including child age, provider type, region and Local Authority.

Further research using the 2019 SCEYP data was published in October 2020.  This includes reports on the following:

  • Providers’ Finances (authored by Frontier Economics)
  • Occupancy and staff ratios at early years providers
  • How early years providers support disadvantaged children, children with SEND, the home learning environment and healthy eating

All reports are available via the Department’s website and can be downloaded using the links below.

Results from wave 1 of the SCEYP Covid-19 web tracker survey can be downloaded from the DfE website.

A research bulletin presenting further analysis of the SCEYP Covid-data, co-produced by Frontier Economics and NatCen, is available to download here.

Methods

Data was collected for the main Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers via a mixed-mode telephone and web survey carried out between March and July 2019. 10,660 surveys were completed by group-based providers, school-based providers and childminders. The questionnaire covered a variety of subjects such as:

  • Attendance and capacity
  • Staff-to-child ratios
  • Delivery of Government policies including funded entitlements and tax-free childcare
  • Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Staff qualifications and pay
  • The financial side of providing childcare such as costs, incomes and fees.

A short survey, which was delivered online and on paper, was conducted with additional providers to provide robust fee and funding estimates at a local authority level (LA) by aggregating data collected across this and the main survey.

The report on occupancy rates combined data from SCEYP 2018 and 2019 with the results of in-depth qualitative interviews with group-based and school-based providers.

The report on how early years providers support children was based on a  follow-up web survey carried out with a sub-set of providers responding to SCEYP in early 2020.

The SCEYP COVID-19 study was a web survey carried out with a representative sample of 4,012 group-based providers, school-based providers and childminders in July 2020.  A second wave of the survey was completed in October 2020.  Findings from wave 2 will be made available shortly.

Download the latest report

Providers' finances

Occupancy and staff ratios

How early years providers support children

Previous reports