Last reviewed 19 February 2021

Almost two-thirds of nurseries in London are at risk of shutting within the next 12 months as childcare providers struggle to survive across the capital, according to a report by the Mayor of London.

The new report reveals that 64% of nurseries and 56% of childminders consider their services to be at immediate risk of closure or to be facing potential closure in the next 12 months. In disadvantaged areas of London, 70% of nurseries class themselves as “struggling” compared with 59% in more affluent areas.

The report highlights how early years providers are essential in supporting parents returning to their workplaces which will play an important role in driving the capital’s economic recovery. However, chronic underfunding combined with the coronavirus crisis has had a significant impact on the early years sector.

The Mayor has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Secretary of State for Education calling for the early years sector to receive adequate funding, following the publication of the report. It is based on research by Ceeda and the Early Years Alliance, commissioned by the Greater London Authority, using data gathered from the end of the first national lockdown to November 2020.

Sadiq Khan said:

“I want to thank everyone working in the early years sector for the extraordinary dedication and resilience they have shown this past year. The early years of a child’s life are crucial to their future development and this childcare is absolutely essential to support working parents, but this research exposes the extent of the crisis the sector faces in our capital.”

“We know that working mothers are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and are more likely to have lost their jobs – the result of structural inequality that has long existed. That is why I am calling on the Government to do everything in its power to support these key services, which are vital to London’s economic recovery, a lifeline for many of London’s working families, and a fundamental part of our duty of care to London’s children.”

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted huge inequalities in our society and it is unacceptable that years of Government underinvestment in the early years mean children and parents from the most deprived parts of our city are now at increased risk of being left behind.”

The full report is available here.