HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc1050-1W
Mr. Breed

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many nurseries there were; and what proportion of these were located in rural areas, broken down by region in each of the last 10 years. [57462]

Margaret Hodge

The information is not available in the form requested. The information available is shown in Tables 1 and 2. The figures are as returned by local authorities.

The latest figures on day care facilities in England were published by my Department in Statistical Bulletin 08/01 "Children's Day Care facilities at 31 March 2001" in October 2001, a copy of which is available from the Library. An electronic copy of this publication is also available on my Department's website (http://www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics).

Statistics are collected at local education authority level, not split between urban and rural areas. Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships (EYDCPs) are responsible for ensuring full coverage of both urban and rural areas within their areas of remit. EYDCPs have been set up in every local authority area of England.

To maximise the support available in rural areas, an additional £22 million has been allocated for a round of smaller Sure Start programmes, delivered through EYDCPs. These new Mini-Sure Starts will provide additional resources to new neighbourhood nurseries and existing child care facilities in rural areas, small towns, and pockets of disadvantage enabling them to offer a wider range of family support.

To date plans for Mini-Sure Starts show that over 65 per cent. of the programmes will be integrated with a neighbourhood nursery, helping to ensure families most in need have access to quality, affordable child care though neighbourhood nurseries and the additional services provided by Sure Start.

Table 1: Number of day nurseries for children under eight—England. 1992–2001
Position at 31 March each year
Year as at 31 March Total number of day nurseries
1992 4,100
1993 4,500
1994 5,000
1995 5,400
1996 5,700
1997 6,100
1998 6,700
1999 7,000
2000 7,500
2001 7,800


1. Includes facilities provided by voluntary organisations under agency arrangements, under section 22 of the National Health Service Act 1946.

2. Data collection guidance changed in 1999.

Table 2: Providers in day nurseries by Government office region— England, 1999–2001
Positions at 31 March each year
All day nurseries
1999 2000 2001
England 7,000 7,500 7,800
North East 190 190 220
North West and Merseyside North West 840 910 940
Merseyside 240 200 250
Yorkshire and Humber 700 690 710
East Midlands 560 660 550
West Midlands 870 900 970
East of England 570 610 600
Greater London
Inner London 610 650 680
Outer London 550 600 620
South East 1.100 1,240 1,400
South West 770 900 910


1. All figures are estimates and have been rounded to the nearest 10 or 100 as appropriate. Figures may not add to totals because of rounding.