Early Years Numbers Returning to Normal
As the government continues to announce the number of children back into early years since the coronavirus / covid 19 pandemic started, the figures now appear to be showing that the majority of nurseries are reporting to have reached similar occupancy numbers to pre pandemic.
Today it was reported that approximately 795,000 children were attending early years settings, which is 61% of children that usually attend during term time, but when you factor in adjustments for part time hours etc, the Department for Education estimate that this number is actually around 86% of children that would have been expected to be in attendance.
This figure was down from the 806,000 reported last week, but again we know fluctuations can happen from week to week, especially in the run up to Christmas.
It is also reported that approximately 55,000 settings are open, which is around 81% of all registered childcare provision, this number has remained around the same since 15th October, with the exception of half term week as expected.
When we spoke directly to some nursery managers we received contrasting information, with all those settings in town and city locations reporting that their numbers had returned to pre covid levels and in some cases they had more children now than they did before. However, in more rural areas every setting reported that their numbers were signifcantly down, and no improvement on the horizon.