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Where are all the 3 year olds?


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Hi there. We are a long established nursery in Brighton (30 years +) taking children between two and five years old. We are puzzled about the small amount of three year olds we have on our books at the moment. Looking historically overall, our intake this term for this age group is particularly low. Is this something others are noticing? If so is it nationwide or just across Brighton? As a team we have been exploring different reasons but nothing seems to be clear. On a positive note - a cohort with lots of two year olds is challenging but fun!

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Definitely the same here! We have been open for 12 years and haven't needed to advertise for 10. We are full daycare and our baby and toddler rooms are busy. But for the first time in years, our Pre-school Room is quiet. We are about half full which is unheard of. Was there a dip in the birth rate? I really don't know where the three-year-olds are hiding. I would blame Brexit if I could, but somehow I don't think it's that!

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Our settings are reporting a mixture, some as busy as ever,some are usually quieter in this term. Some are saying many children are only taking their funded hours and only once eligible so that seems to be making a difference. Schools offering 2 year provision could also make a difference as families often stay there once there.

 

The birth rate rose in 2012 then dropped a fair bit in 2013 and again in 2014, so that could be making a difference too.

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Our numbers in all our four pre-schools are down this term: More children are taking state nursery places as soon as they are three. Some schools are providing double funding where they have empty nursery places so children are getting 30 hours instead of 15 even when parents are not working. There are more settings in the area offering the funded hours (one local chain has opened three new nurseries this year - each one on the same road as one of ours - one right next door!!) And as benefits are being cut etc. I think more people are looking for help from families or just staying at home.

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