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Childcare sufficiency

How easy is it to find accessible, affordable, high quality childcare in South Gloucestershire?

The Department for Children, Adults and Health needs your help to assess the provision of childcare over the next twelve months. The Childcare Act 2006 places a statutory duty for local authorities to secure sufficient childcare to meet the needs of working parents and those making the transition to work.

To do this we will consult with parents, childcare providers, local employers, schools and colleges to find out how many places may be required.

Once we have measured the demand for childcare places we can concentrate on the areas of South Gloucestershire where more places are required and help providers to create new places where they are most needed.

The results of the assessment will be published on our web site. We will be able to use the information to shape the future of childcare and help us to build up the capacity ready for the increase of childcare to 30 hours for 3 and 4 year olds in working families.

Information about all aspects of childcare is available on our website at



It is Government policy to enable children of pre-school age to have early education and childcare. This is to help children to have a good start in life and be better prepared for school.  It is also intended to assist parents and carers in meeting work or study commitments.  For children in less advantaged circumstances, pre-school provision is seen as additionally important in helping to give them the best possible start.

There is a universal entitlement for all three and four year old children to receive 15 hours of free childcare per week during term-time. In September 2014 this was extended to 2 year olds from families with a household income less than £16,190 per year (approximately 40% of the age group).

Since September 2017, 30 hours free childcare has been available to eligible working families of 3 and 4 year olds in England. This is an additional 15 hours on top of the 15 hours available to all parents of three and four year olds.

Local Authorities have a legal duty to ensure that sufficient childcare places are available for local families. In South Gloucestershire, this is done in partnership with providers and childminders who are in the private, voluntary or independent sectors.

The Local Authority also has a legal responsibility each year to assess local views on the availability of local childcare to check whether it is sufficient.

In order to carry out this task, South Gloucestershire is sending this questionnaire to parents and carers to seek their views on the local position.

It would be very helpful if you could complete this questionnaire and return it to the council. This will assist us in reviewing the current position, identifying any problems and planning any improvements.

How to have your say

Anyone who has a view on the provision of childcare in South Gloucestershire is very welcome to put their views forward.

  • by e-mailing comments to
  • by writing to South Gloucestershire Council, Department for Children, Adults and Health, Early Years Team, PO Box 1955, Bristol, BS37 0DE
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