Childcare Sufficiency research in Sheffield

Covering gaps in market knowledge

Providing the best possible childcare market means understanding the needs of families and young people. Following earlier research and the emergence of gaps in their understanding of the local childcare market, Sheffield City Council selected QA Research to conduct a large-scale research project.

Carrying out city-wide consultation

Qa completed surveys with approximately 6000 Sheffield parents. A sampling frame by Children’s Centre area, age of child, ethnicity, marital status and Acorn category was developed to ensure the data was as robust and representative as possible.

A combination of telephone (CATI) and face-to-face methods were used to achieve the required matrix. Qa produced reports of these key findings for each Children’s Centre area.

Qa also completed a quantitative survey with around 400 local employers to establish what childcare and work-life balance support businesses give their employees. This part of the project also shed light on how any current support may change in the light of future employment patterns and expectations.

Approximately 40 in-depth telephone interviews were also completed with a range of stakeholders. These included representatives from Jobcentre Plus; local education providers; regeneration workers; extended services; early years managers; and community organisations.

These interviews were a valuable opportunity to assess the local childcare market and discuss other local needs with professionals who know the city.

Using research to guide service development

The findings and recommendations from our research are now being combined with childcare supply information to inform the development of the city’s childcare services.

For more details e-mail becky.gulc@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039