The latest national statistics on provision for children under five years of age produced by the DCSF were released on 16 June 2009 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Summary:

Statistics on provision for children under five are published as 'Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England: January 2009' and include data on the numbers of three and four year old children benefiting from some free early years education.

The latest statistics are for January 2009 and update those previously released on 29 May 2008.

The key points from the latest release are:

  • In January 2009 the number of three and four year olds benefiting from some free early education (where children are counted twice if they take up free provision at two different providers) was 1,178,800 children, which is an increase on the 2008 figure of 1,160,400 children.
  • For the second time, the release shows the actual numbers of three and four year olds benefiting from some free early education; children are counted once even if they take up free provision at more than one provider. The actual number of three and four year olds benefiting from some free early education was 1,155,500 children.
  • The actual number of three year olds benefiting from some free early education was 92% of the three year old population. The actual number of four year old children benefiting from some free early education was 98% of the four year old population.
  • The part time equivalent (PTE) number of funded places filled by both three and four year olds has increased since 2008.
  • The PTE number of free early education places taken up by three year olds in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors was 89 per 100 three year old children; an increase on the 2008 figure of 87 per 100 children. The equivalent figure for four year old children remained at 97 per 100 children.