A new survey by Ipsos MORI found that around half (49%) of 0-4 year-olds that used formal or informal childcare before COVID-19 have parents that intend to return their child to early years settings from 1st June once they open for more children aged 0-4.
When looking at just those children who were receiving formal childcare before the current coronavirus situation, 55% are expected to attend formal childcare from 1st June, 29% are not, and for 16% the parents do not know.
For children whose parents are intending for them to attend formal childcare from 1st June, by far the most common reason is wanting the child to return to his/her usual routine (58%). Other commonly mentioned reasons include: wanting the child to mix with other children (29%), wanting the child to continue his/her education (24%), informal childcare not being possible (24%), the child being eligible for free childcare (24%), and the parent or partner returning to work (21%).
Among children expected to attend formal childcare from 1st June, around half of parents (51%) say that they expect their child to spend about the same number of hours in formal childcare as they did before. One-third (34%) expect their child to spend more hours in formal childcare, and 12% expect their child to spend fewer hours in formal childcare.
The survey also asked parents that are critical workers about their use and experiences of childcare during COVID-19 in May. Almost three-quarters (72%) of parents of 0-4 year olds that are critical workers felt that the hours their child could access childcare during the coronavirus situation fitted with the working hours of the adults in the household.
This research comes as the Government announced the wider opening of education settings for children of some ages from 1st June. School-based nurseries and private, voluntary and independent nurseries can re-open for all children aged 0-4 whilst following guidance on social distancing and hygiene measures.
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 parents of children aged 0-4 in England. Interviews were conducted online between the 15th and 20th May 2020. Data are weighted to match the population profile of parents of children aged 0-4 in England by region, social grade, and the age of the selected child (i.e. the randomly selected child aged 0-4 about whom child-level questions were asked).