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Childcare accessibility by neighbourhood

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Levels of access to childcare vary across local areas in England
Office for National Statistics
Publication Date: 
4 Jun 2024


Accessible childcare can be crucial for parents and guardians who want to return to work, increase their hours, or even enter the labour market for the first time.

A primary challenge for families is whether they can access suitable childcare locally.

Our analysis with Ofsted, which inspects and regulates childcare services, shows wide variation in the potential level of access to registered childcare places across the country in 2023. Affordability of childcare is not something we measure in this analysis.

Areas with lower levels of access to childcare were generally more likely to have lower disposable household incomes, on average, and a higher proportion of children living in poverty.

Our interactive tool below allows comparison of childcare accessibility between neighbourhoods across England.

Access to childcare is calculated as an equivalent number of childcare places per 100 children aged 0 to 7 years, accessible from a neighbourhood.

A higher number of places per 100 children indicates better access. The figures, however, are estimates of potential supply and demand, and not all children will need care from registered providers.