Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA)
A Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) is an assessment of existing childcare provision in the borough, mapping supply of, demand for and gaps in the childcare market.
The Childcare Act 2006 places a legal duty on local authorities to secure sufficient childcare (so far as is reasonably practicable) for working parents or parents who are studying or training for employment.
In order to meet this duty, local authorities are required to undertake a detailed assessment of the supply and demand for childcare in their area.
The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment is a process designed to ensure there is enough childcare to meet the needs of parents and carers with children aged up to 14 years old (or up to 25 years old for disabled children and children with additional needs). The outcome is a report that analyses findings, allowing the local authority to assess the childcare market, making recommendations to;
- further enhance and support childcare providers, maintaining high quality services.
- develop the support families receive when seeking/utilising childcare.
- support local practitioners by making accessible a wide range information and resources, that in turn will benefit families.
The local authority produces an annual sufficiency report to council members and this report is available and accessible to parents.
The latest report will be available to download soon.
The key issues for childcare in the Royal Borough arising from the 2015-2016 CSA can be summarised as follows:
- The rising costs of childcare and the impact that this has on all families within the Royal Borough
- The costs of providing high quality childcare in inner London when compared with the income generated from 2, 3 and 4 year funding. Some settings have argued that the current funding formula makes provision unsustainable. The additional 15 hours entitlement for working parents of 3 and 4-year-olds will raise the same issue.
- The costs and logistical problems with providing more flexible childcare in inner London for the children of ‘out-of-hours’ workers.
- Access to information on local, high quality, flexible and affordable childcare places available in inner London that is parent-friendly.
- The need to improve data collection for the number of childcare places that are available for 5-11 year olds, with a focus on Holiday Play schemes, After School Clubs and Breakfast Clubs.