Reviewing childcare sufficiency

Using models to predict and manage childcare 

Following a full Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) local authorities have a statutory obligation to review childcare sufficiency on an annual basis. The Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) has been working with a network of local authorities across the region to develop models of predicting and managing childcare and sufficiency indicators that will facilitate updates and future CSAs and allow for regional comparisons.

The CSA review in Lincolnshire

The two models endorsed by GOEM and the local authority network in March 2009 were adopted by Lincolnshire County Council to help review their CSA work.

Primary research was undertaken with childcare providers and secondary data was collected from and number of key contacts within the Council and from external sources.

This two pronged approach has proved to be extremely efficient in gathering the data required to benchmark and monitor the sufficiency of childcare in a more streamlined and cost effective way.

Efficient data collection, monitoring and analysis

The research and models have allowed Lincolnshire County Council to:

  • Collect and collate key statistics that feed into Childcare Sufficiency Indicators which can then be efficiently updated and monitored on a quarterly basis using minimal resource
  • Identify remaining quality gaps for childcare provision and areas for focus in the future
  • Determine the current places available for each childcare type against child population taking in account vacancy and waiting list data.  Also, to indicate whether there is spare capacity or over subscription forecast changes using future population projections

For more details e-mail kerry.watson@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039