Methodology

Childcare and early years provider survey

Published

Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers - Methodology

The Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers (SCEYP) is carried out annually.

In 2022, 10,418 childcare providers responded to the “main” SCEYP and a further 6,566 providers responded to the “short” version of the SCEYP.

A detailed Technical Report on the 2022 SCEYP is available from the “additional supporting files” section.  This describes:

  • The different types of childcare providers covered by the SCEYP;
  • Where the sample of providers that were surveyed was drawn from;
  • How the SCEYP fieldwork was carried out;
  • Response rates;
  • How the SCEYP data were validated;
  • How the SCEYP data were processed; and
  • How SCEYP results were weighted, to ensure that they were representative of all childcare providers in England.

5 May 2023 - Revisions to published figures

Results from the SCEYP  were published on 15 December 2022.  Following publication, an error was identified.

The error came about because of a small number of childcare providers (95 of the 10,418 providers who responded to the “main” SCEYP and 53 of the 6,566 providers who responded to the “short” version of the SCEYP) who reported that they did not look after any children aged 0-4. These providers are outside the scope of the Survey and should have been excluded from the statistics.  However, due to an error made when a dataset of responses to the Survey was shared between DfE's contractors, these providers were incorrectly counted in the statistics.

The impact of this error was thoroughly investigated and revised figures have been calculated. 

Changes to “headline facts and figures”

Estimates of the number of childcare providers have been revised down by 614.  They are estimated to have fallen by 4.1 per cent between 2021 and 2022 (original figures showed a 3.1 per cent fall in providers).

Childcare providers

2021

2022

% change 2021 to 2022

 

 

Original

Revised

Revision

Original

Revised

School-based providers

9,484

9,688

9,631

-57

2.1%

1.6%

Group-based providers

21,346

21,896

21,638

-258

2.6%

1.4%

Childminders

31,161

28,456

28,157

-299

-8.7%

-9.6%

Total

61,991

60,040

59,426

-614

-3.1%

-4.1%

Estimates of the number of registered childcare places have been revised down by 25,443.  They are estimated to have fallen by 0.7 per cent between 2021 and 2022 (original figures showed a 0.9 per cent increase in places).

Registered childcare places

2021

2022

% change 2021 to 2022

 

Original

Revised

Revision

Original

Revised

School-based providers

352,338

329,330

327,869

-1,461

-6.5%

-6.9%

Group-based providers

1,008,575

1,066,688

1,044,490

-22,198

5.8%

3.6%

Childminders

192,978

172,436

170,651

-1,785

-10.6%

-11.6%

Total

1,553,891

1,568,453

1,543,010

-25,443

0.9%

-0.7%

Estimates of the number of paid childcare staff have been revised down by 5,398.  They are estimated to have increased by 1.8 per cent between 2021 and 2022 (original figures showed a 3.4 per cent increase in paid staff).

Paid childcare staff

2021

2022

% change 2021 to 2022

 

 

Original

Revised

Revision

Original

Revised

School-based providers

53,929

53,407

52,337

-1,070

-1.0%

-3.0%

Group-based providers

235,992

252,068

248,184

-3,884

6.8%

5.2%

Childminders

38,603

34,313

33,869

-444

-11.1%

-12.3%

Total

328,524

339,788

334,390

-5,398

3.4%

1.8%

Note: Figures published on Explore Education Statistics are rounded to the nearest 100.  This reflects the fact that, rather than exact figures, they are estimates based on survey data.  In order to illustrate the precise impact of revisions, figures shown in the tables above are unrounded.  This does not materially affect the size of the revisions.

Average hourly childcare fees to parents are estimated to have increased by 2.7 per cent for children under 2; 3.4 per cent for children aged 2; and 3.9 per cent for children aged 3 to 4 between 2021 and 2022.  These are unchanged from original figures.

Mean hourly fee for children

2021

2022

% change 2021 to 2022

 

Original

Revised

Revision

Original

Revised

Aged under 2

£5.53

£5.68

£5.68

-

2.7%

2.7%

Aged 2

£5.53

£5.72

£5.72

-

3.4%

3.4%

Aged 3 and 4

£5.39

£5.60

£5.60

-

3.9%

3.9%

Changes to other statistics

In total, 86 statistical tables have been produced based on the 2022 SCEYP.  Some of these are shown in charts and tables on “Explore Education Statistics”.  All of the tables are available in the “additional supporting files” section.

Most of the tables show “proportions” and “averages” rather than “counts”.  By their nature, these are unlikely to have changed because of the exclusion of a small number of providers from the calculations.  In a table, for instance, showing temporary staff employed by childcare providers, estimates of the number of temporary staff employed by group-based providers in 2022 have been revised down by approximately 500 (or 2.3 per cent) from 21,200 to 20,700, but estimates of the proportion of group-based providers employing temporary staff in 2022 are unchanged (30 per cent).

Corrections to local authority fees tables

In most cases, estimates of the average fees charged to parents are unchanged from the estimates published in December 2022.  In occasional cases, when these figures have been broken down into particular age groups or provider types, estimates have changed by a few pence.

The exceptions to this are two tables which show breakdowns, by child age, of fees charged by childcare providers in different local authorities.  Originally, the DfE's contractors made an error in these tables.  Table 11 (“Mean and median hourly fees for two year-old children”) incorrectly showed fees for three- and four-year-old children, while Table 12 (“Mean and median hourly fees for three- and four-year-old children”) incorrectly showed fees for two-year-old children. 

This error has now been corrected.  The impact on the figures is relatively small – differences in fees within local authorities, for children of different ages, are generally smaller than differences between local authorities for children of the same age.

Changes implemented in the 2023 SCEYP

Additional checks are being built into the process for producing official statistics based on the 2023 SCEYP and checks will be carried out earlier in the process. 

Help and support

Contact us

If you have a specific enquiry about Childcare and early years provider survey statistics and data:

Early years and childcare research and analysis

Email: EY.AnalysisANDResearch@education.gov.uk
Contact name: John Canlin

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