nursery and early years poll

How many nursery staff and children are absent – January quick poll

NDNA put together a very short survey for all nurseries across England, Scotland and Wales to find out the proportion of members of staff and children who are currently absent from their early years setting.

The survey simply asks what percentage of usual numbers of staff and children are absent during this week (week commencing 17 January). Please note the survey for w/c 10 January has now closed.

During the second week of January, we received responses from 171 settings across England, Scotland and Wales. The average staff absence rate was 16.74%, a reduction on the previous week by 5 percentage points which is good news although it still remains extremely high; for children it was slightly higher lower at 9.7% compared to 9.1%.

  • 11.5% of respondents (9.3% of settings) had no staff absent and 15.9% of respondents (13.5% of settings) had no children absent
  • 15.2% of settings reported staff absence rates of more than one third but only 4.7%  of settings reported child absences at the same level.

Results for Scotland:
Staff absence – 16.67%
Child absence – 13%

Results for Wales:
Staff absence – 12%
Child absence – 4%

Results for England:
Staff absence – 17.45%
Child absence – 10.58%

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA said: “Our data for the second week in January shows that nurseries are still facing daily pressures from staff absences, even as case rates start to fall. We have seen staff absences come down from one in five to one in six. However, the data also suggests that around one in ten children were absent.

“This means staff are still more likely to be out of settings than children and so ratio flexibilities will remain important for providers. We have welcomed recent announcements by Ofsted, Care Inspectorate and Welsh Government on steps to make sure settings are not put under further pressure at this crucial time, with inspection deferrals, limits to on-site inspections in Scotland and temporary relaxations in Wales.

“We will continue to collect and collate data on these pressures until the latest figures shows the sector is getting back to normal. Thank you to everyone who is helping to provide an up to date snapshot of the pressures on our front line staff.” so please fill in our short survey for week commencing 17 January so we continue to be able to show the latest picture from the front line.”

Results w/c 3 January:

During the first week of January, we received responses from 471 settings across England, Scotland and Wales. The average staff absence rate was 21.7% which is extremely high; for children it was lower at 9.1%.

  • 7.1% of respondents had no staff absent and 13% had no children absent
  • 22.5% reported staff absence rates of more than one third and only 3% reported child absences at the same level
  • 3.6% reported absence rates of 80% or higher
  • 7.1% said they had no staff absences
  • 3.6% had more than 80% absence rates.

Results for Scotland:
Staff absence – 20.45%
Child absence – 12.5%

Results for Wales:
Staff absence – 20.8%
Child absence – 6.5%

Results for England:
Staff absence – 21.7%
Child absence – 9.16%

This data is vital to be able to lobby governments of all three nations to give much-needed support to the early years sector. Please fill this survey in whether you are a member of NDNA or not as we’re asking for support for the whole sector.

The survey has now closed. See latest news items here. 

  • England
  • Scotland
  • UK
  • Wales
  • Absence
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Staff Abscence
  • Survey
  • United Kingdom
  • Wales
  • workforce crisis
  • Workforce Pressures

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