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Childcare sufficiency

Do your research!

Before you become a childminder or open a new setting, it is your responsibility to research childcare sufficiency in your area to ensure that your business will be viable, sustainable and that you are meeting the local needs of your community.

The Early Years and Childcare service has a statutory duty under the Childcare Act 2006 to ensure there is sufficient and accessible high quality early years and childcare provision.

We collect headcount data on a regular basis from existing early years providers which is then entered into our sufficiency map; this provides an overview of the availability and quality of early years provision. We would always recommend that you also undertake your own market research alongside using this data as we do ask for children on roll and their current capacity as a general.

It is imperative that existing settings complete the sufficiency data returns when requested, as this ensures the accuracy of sufficiency data. To find out more, please visit our data collection page. 

The Early Years and Childcare service also works with partners in the 12 district and borough councils when planning applications are submitted, to advise on childcare sufficiency within a defined area. In some cases, this results in funding contributions from developers to help address local need. Details about the opportunities and how to apply are available in the funding section.

Use the interactive sufficiency map

The childcare sufficiency map is taken from the early years and childcare summer sufficiency data and is updated annually. This map provides an overview of the availability and quality of childcare in the area for those looking to potentially set up a new early years and childcare provision. Please enter a postcode, click on the relevant criteria and then you can click on the map which will provide an overview of the information required.