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Survey shows nursery closure rates up fifty per cent on previous year

The National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) has released new statistics showing that nurseries in England continue to close at an alarming rate, with fifty per cent more closures in the academic year 2022-23, compared with the previous year.

The data looked at closures between September 2022 to the start of this academic year and  found that 72 more nurseries closed compared with the same period the year before, an increase of 50%. This takes place as parents and providers are gearing up for the planned expansion of Government-funded childcare places from April 2024.

While closures affect all areas, analysis of the data continued to show that they are most likely to take place in the areas of greatest deprivation. In the last academic year alone 14.5% of nursery closures were in the 10% most deprived areas of England. This is on top of 12.7% in the 10% most deprived areas the previous year.

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “The alarming rate at which nurseries are continuing to close puts in doubt the Governments’ ability to deliver on their promise of more funded childcare from April 2024.

“Our research shows that the rate of closures has increased by 50% compared with the previous academic year and highlights the devasting impact that years of underfunding has had on the childcare sector. Providers are currently facing significant pressures on their finances and yet the Government’s funding simply does not cover their costs.

“The fact that more closures happen in areas of deprivation continues to ring alarm bells. These are settings which have more Government funded places and are hit harder by underfunding. Research shows that these are the children who have most to gain from accessing high quality early education and care. We have to make sure this policy is not creating childcare deserts.”

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Published on 4th October 2023