§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Ofsted-inspected pre-school nurseries and playgroups have closed in each of the past three years. 
§ Margaret Hodge
The information is not available in the form requested. The Department collects information on day nurseries and playgroups and pre-schools defined in terms of the full day or sessional care that they provide. It does not collect information on pre-schools separately from playgroups. The available information is shown in the table.293W
Number of day nurseries and playgroups and pre-schools in England1 (position at 31 March each year) 1998 1999 2000 2001 Playgroups and pre-schools 15,700 15,000 14,300 14,000 Day nurseries 6,700 7,000 7,500 7,800 1Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
Local authorities provided the data. Ofsted did not assume responsibility for registration and inspection of children's day care facilities until September 2001.
Figures for 2001 for England and Government Office regions were published in Statistical Bulletin 08/01 "Children's Day Care Facilities as at 31 March 2001", which is available at www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics/ and from the Library.