Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

The Childcare Act 2006 gives local authorities an important role in shaping the childcare market in their area.

Suffolk County Council's statutory duty

Suffolk County Council (SCC) has a statutory duty to ensure there is sufficient childcare for 0 to 14 year olds, whose families wish to access it. SCC also has a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient early learning places for all eligible 2, 3 and 4 year olds. Childcare provision supports parents or carers who are in work or training for work.

SCC has produced a 2019 Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for Suffolk. This has assessed information about the current and projected supply and demand of childcare for particular age ranges of children, and the affordability, accessibility and quality of provision. This work is undertaken by gathering data on the number of places available, take up of places and population.

Towards the end of the report there is a profile for each area in Suffolk which is known as a cluster. Each cluster includes the district wards within the area. SCC uses this information to plan work supporting the local childcare market. This information is used to target specific areas to ensure that supply matches demand as far as possible. The council also uses this data to respond to housing development enquiries in order to secure provider contributions for the development of early years and childcare places.

Download Suffolk's Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (PDF, 1.7MB).