The Childcare Act 2006 places a duty on local authorities to carry out a full Childcare Sufficiency Assessment every three years with an information refresh in the intervening years. The local authority is required to report annually to elected council members on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare, and make this report available and accessible to parents.
The assessment involves:
- measuring the demand for childcare
- auditing the supply of childcare
- utilizing the information to identify any gaps in the provision of childcare.
Once the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) is completed, the local authority has a duty to make sure sufficient childcare is provided (as far as is reasonably practicable) for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0 – 14 years (up to 18 years for disabled children).
How is this service funded
LA advisor support and moderation is funded from the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG). There are no charges to providers for these services.
Who is this service for
All early years providers may benefit from accessing the information contained in the childcare sufficiency report.
Further Details of Service
Slough Early Years Service provides information and data analysis for settings in the form of a series of reports and bulletins as a result of the data collection for the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment.
The assessment is used to inform SBC and providers about areas where demand may outstrip supply over time, areas where supply is greater than demand and any emerging trends in demand or supply.
The Local authority is responsible for determining the appropriate level of detail in the report, geographical division and date of publication. The report should include:
- a specific reference to how they are ensuring there is sufficient childcare available to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities; children from families in receipt of the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit; children with parents who work irregular hours; children aged two, three and four taking up free places; school aged children; and children needing holiday care;
- information about the current and projected supply and demand of childcare for particular age ranges of children, and the affordability, accessibility and quality of provision; and
- details of how any gaps in childcare provision will be addressed
Slough Early Years Service uses the CSA information to develop strategies for place development and awareness raising in specific localities in Slough.
Providers are required to complete an annual audit to provide essential data for the annual CSA refresh and termly updates on occupancy and vacancy information.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Councillors are informed about the CSA and require SBC officers to answer a series of questions about the councils meeting of its sufficiency duty.