Childcare Sufficiency

The Childcare Act 2006 requires local authorities to carry out and publish a sufficiency assessment of childcare in their area at least every 3 years. Local authorities carried out their first assessment in 2008.

The most recent full Childcare Sufficiency assessment, 2013, in Bath and North East Somerset is available under "links" on this page. If you are unable to access the document, require it in an alternative format or would like a hard copy, please contact the Family Information Service team using the contact details on the left.

The report is prepared at least every three years with reviews taking place every six months. This page will continue to be updated with details and results of these reviews when they take place.

If you have any comments about the report,  please contact Philip Frankland on 01225 395348 or email

Purpose of the report

The Childcare Act became law in July 2006 to transform the provision and delivery of Childcare and Early Years services. The Act formalises the strategic role of local authorities to improve outcomes for all children.

Section 6 of the 2006 Act gives local authorities a new duty of securing, so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficient childcare to meet the requirements of parents in their area in order to enable them to work or undertake education or training leading to work.

Section 7 gives them a related duty to secure free early years provision for pre-school children of a prescribed age.

Recommendations from the 2013 report

1. Ensuring sufficient 2 year old entitlement places

2. Ensuring sufficient 3 and 4 year old entitlement places

3. Increase provision in areas of under supply

4. Management of the childcare market, and provision of business advice and support to providers

5. Continue to offer support to families, including take up of benefits

6. Continue to support new and existing provision

7. Expansion of places following housing development from capital receipts from Planning Obligations (section 106) developer contributions

8. Produce twice yearly updates of sufficiency data by children's centre areas


Conclusions from this sufficiency report must be considered within the following context/ facts:

  • The local area has a larger than national average number of private and voluntary providers over which Bath and North East Somerset Council has limited influence
  • The choice of childcare provider is a personal decision and there will always be some provision which is more popular than others
  • The number of children requiring childcare and the number of childcare places being provided is in a constant state of flux
  • The most popular form of childcare continues to be family members

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