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Number of childminders falls by over 2,000 in last six months

The number of childminders has fallen by over 2,000 in the last six months, according to the latest figures by Ofsted.

The number of early years providers on the Early Years Register has generally been declining since the Early Years Foundation Stage began in 2008.

Ofsted's statistics on ‘Registered childcare providers and places’ reveal that in 31 March 2014 there were 51,789 childminders, down from 53,938 at 30 September 2013, showing an exodus of 2,149 childminders in six months.

Over the last six months, 4,177 providers joined the Early Years Register and 6,335 left, resulting in a decrease of 2,158 providers.

This was mainly due to a fall in the number of childminders during the period, according to Ofsted.

A total of 92,251 childcare providers were registered with Ofsted at 31 March 2014.

Ofsted figures show a net decrease of 3,229 to the register of providers since 30 September 2013 and is more than six times the size of the decrease seen in the previous six month period.

About two thirds of registered early years providers are childminders and a third are nurseries and pre-schools and children’s centres.