The Childcare Act 2006, as amended, requires Local Authorities to report annually on how they are meeting their duty to secure sufficient early education and childcare provision.
Sufficient childcare means securing the right type and volume of provision, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents or parents who are studying or training for employment, who require places for children aged 0-14 (up to 18 for a disabled child).
The duty to secure sufficient early years provision is to enable families, who wish to, access their entitlement to free early education of 570 hours over a minimum of 38 weeks per year for some 2 year old and all 3 and 4 year old children. The entitlement to free early education doubled to 1,140 hours for children, aged 3 and 4, of eligible working parents from September 2017.
Aim of assessment
The aim of this assessment is to provide us with information needed to identify gaps in the market and plan the steps required to secure sufficient childcare.
The December 2018 report includes:-
- key findings, including preparations for and initial take up of the extended early education entitlement (30 hours offer).
- information about childcare for families with disabled children.
- information about the cost of childcare.
- sufficiency gaps - where available provision is less likely to be meeting the needs of parents.
- priorities for developing additional capacity in 2018/19 to 2019/20
- detailed analysis of the supply of childcare and early education places.
Comments and suggestions
Families’ childcare needs, along with the availability of places, are constantly changing and the council welcomes feedback if there are difficulties in finding suitable childcare.
The council cannot guarantee a place in the specific area that parents would like but it is our desire that as many parents as possible are able to find the childcare they need to be able to work, or undertake training that will lead to work, and all families who wish to are able to access their entitlement to a funded early education place.
Please contact the Oxfordshire Family Information Service if you have any comments or suggestions. If you would like to find out more about the childcare available in your area look at our childcare pages.