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Childcare Sufficiency Report 2018 to 2019

1. Introduction
1.1. Statutory Guidance
1.2. Sufficiency

2. Childcare Supply
2.1. Quality
2.2. Three and Four Year Olds
2.3. Childcare costs
2.4. Workforce Statistics
2.5. Children Who Are Disabled

3. Childcare Demand
3.1. Family Information Service, Dorset Council
3.2. Early learning & childcare free entitlement for children aged 2 years old
3.3. Early leaning & childcare free entitlement for children aged 3 to 4 years old
3.4. Educational Attainment as measured by 2018 Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
3.5. Early Years Pupil Premium
3.6. Looked after children and the Virtual School Head
3.7. Introduction of 30 Hours Free Childcare Entitlement

4. Summary

5. Childcare Sufficiency Action Plan 2018

 


1. Introduction

1.1. Statutory Guidance  

The early education and childcare statutory guidance for the Local Authority (LA), issued by the Department for Education (DfE) sets out the LA’s obligations for early years provision in line with its duties under the Childcare Act 2006. 

Under sections of the Act, English LAs have specific duties:

  • section 6, places a duty on English LAs to secure sufficient childcare for working parents
  • section 7 (as substituted by section 1 of the Education Act 2011), places a duty on English LAs to secure early years provision free of charge. Regulations made under section 7 set out the type and amount of free provision and the children who benefit. This guidance refers to early years provision free of charge’ as ‘early education’
  • section 12, places a duty on English LAs to provide information, advice and assistance to parents and prospective parents about childcare in their area
  • section 13, places a duty on English LAs to provide information, advice and training to childcare providers and childcare workers

1.2. Sufficiency

Duty to assess sufficiency 

The government introduced measures in the Children and Families Act 2014 to repeal the section 11 duty to assess childcare provision. However, some form of assessment is still required in order to ensure compliance with the remaining duties under sections 6 and 7.To secure sufficient childcare places, LAs are required by legislation to:

  • secure sufficient childcare, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children)

To secure sufficient childcare places, LAs should take into account:

  • what is ‘reasonably practicable’ when assessing what sufficient childcare means in their area
  • the state of the local childcare market, including the demand for specific types of providers in a particular locality and the amount and type of supply that currently exists
  • the state of the local labour market including the sufficiency of the local childcare workforce
  • the quality and capacity of childcare providers and childminders registered with a childminding agency, including their funding, staff, premises, experience and expertise 

Childcare Sufficiency Report 2018

In order to ensure that they meet the duties under sections 6 and 7 of the Childcare Act 2006, LAs are required to make an assessment of the local childcare market, including the demand for specific types of providers in a particular locality and the amount and type of supply that currently exists.

There is a requirement to report annually on how the LA is meeting their duty to secure sufficient childcare ensuring the report is available and accessible to parents.

This report assesses the local childcare market across Dorset including supply and demand information. Where possible, comparisons are made between England, South West and Dorset data.

Information about the supply and demand of childcare for particular age ranges of children, and the affordability, accessibility and quality of provision is included. 

The report also includes a section on the impact on sufficiency of the extended 30 hours free childcare offer which became a statutory entitlement for eligible working parents from September 2017. Dorset agreed to the DfE request to introduce this extended entitlement to all eligible parents as an “early roll-out” area with effect from 1 April 2017.

Finally, there is an action plan to address any gaps identified in relation to sufficiency of childcare in Dorset so that we meet our duty in enabling parental access to high quality childcare.

2. Childcare Supply

2.1. Quality

The government wants all children to be able to take up their entitlement to funded early education in a high quality setting. Statutory guidance to LAs is clear that they should only fund two-year-olds with providers that have been rated 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted. In some situations, LAs may fund two-year-old children in providers that have been judged ‘requires improvement’ where there is not sufficient accessible ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ provision. LA improvement support will be focused on settings deemed ‘satisfactory/requires improvement’, alongside strong monitoring of improvement by Ofsted. However, LAs will be expected to support these providers in line with Ofsted recommendations. 

LAs, should however, not fund settings that have an 'inadequate' rating and should secure alternative provision and withdraw funding, as soon as is practicable, for children who are already receiving their government-funded entitlement at a provider when it is rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Providers should no longer be asked to meet additional requirements from the LA in order to receive funding other than to ensure that the funded places:

  • are entirely free of charge to parents
  • are offered flexibly to meet the needs of parents
  • make proper use of public funds
  • have providers who meet the needs of children who are disabled or those with a special education need
  • have providers who are keeping children safe

However, the guidance does allow LAs to place conditions on those providers judged as ‘satisfactory’ / ‘requires improvement’ provided these address concerns raised by Ofsted in an inspection report.

Ofsted overall effectiveness graph
Ofsted overall effectiveness of Early Years inspected settings in Dorset for providers in 2009-18. Source: Ofsted 2009-16
Ofsted in Dorset compared to national
Ofsted good and outstanding early years inspected settings compared to neighbours.

While the last 2 years have seen a slight fall in the number of 'good' and 'outstanding' providers from 95% in 2016 to 94% in 2018, this still enables parents to access quality provision and supports the authority to meet our 2 year old offer, which requires that we only fund free early learning for 2 year olds at providers judged 'good' or better. 99% of Dorset’s funded 2 year olds are receiving their entitlement at providers rated 'good' or better.

Percentage of Ofsted Early Years inspected settings with Good or Outstanding Outcome by Locality for 2018 

East Dorset is the highest performing area with 100% of groups and childminders achieving Ofsted good or outstanding in 2018. Whilst Weymouth and Portland’s overall quality is increasing, work is being targeted in Purbeck, North and West Dorset to address the slight drop in good and outstanding judgements in those areas.

Trends in Ofsted judgements by area and % against total providers. (The total numbers and % shown exclude those 'not met', 'met' or 'not yet inspected'):

Christchurch
ChristchurchInRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 0% 8% 78% 14% 50  
2018 0% 8% 75% 17% 48 static
East
EastInRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 0% 4% 67% 29% 82  
2018 0% 0% 67% 33% 73 upwards
Purbeck
PurbeckInRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 0% 0% 65% 35% 43  
2018 0% 8% 64% 28% 36 downwards
North
NorthInRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 0% 3% 68% 30% 71  
2018 1% 10% 60% 29% 73 downwards
West
WestInRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 0% 6% 75% 19% 64  
2018 3% 6% 75% 16% 65 downwards
Weymouth and Portland
Weymouth
and Portland
InRIGoodOSTotalTrend
2017 2% 7% 77% 14% 57  
2018 2% 2% 76% 20% 55 upwards


Number of Day Care Ofsted registered childcare providers for children under 5 years old (0-4) by district and year:

Number of day care Ofsted-registered providers for children under 5 years old (0 to 4) by district and year
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 9 8 9 8 8 7 9
East Dorset 15 20 18 20 18 20 18
North Dorset 12 13 12 13 11 12

13

Purbeck 6 5 6 6 5 6

6

West Dorset 14 13 14 14 14 15

16

Weymouth and Portland 13 13 12 12 9 9

9

DC Dorset 69 72 71 73 65 69

71

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database, autumn 2018

Number of pre-school or playgroup Ofsted registered childcare providers for children under 5 years old (0 to 4 years) by district and year:

Number of pre-school or playgroup Ofsted registered childcare providers for children under 5 years old (0 to 4 years) by district and year
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 11 11 11 10 10 10 10
East Dorset 30 28 28 22 24 22 24
North Dorset 26 25 23 22 21 20

21

Purbeck 14 14 14 14 14 13

13

West Dorset 40 38 37 35 35 34

37

Weymouth and Portland 19 19 21 21 23 24

25

DC Dorset 140 135 134 124 127 123

130

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018

Number of childminder Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children under 5 years old (0 to 4 years) by district and year:

Number of childminder Ofsted-registered childcare providers for children under 5 years old (0 to 4 years) by district and year
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 31 33 36 40 39 42 38
East Dorset 73 74 73 62 59 57 49
North Dorset 73 58 56 46 41 40

33

Purbeck 38 34 34 30 26 28

25

West Dorset 51 60 60 51 45 48

43

Weymouth and Portland 42 45 46 41 34 33

32

DC Dorset 308 295 305 270 244 248

220

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018

Overall, the market within Dorset has contracted during a period of significant economic depression. Since 2012, whilst there has been a slight increase of 3% in the number of daycare providers we have seen a 7% reduction in pre-schools and a 29% reduction in childminders.

Where gaps have been identified in areas where there are likely to be a significant number of eligible children and there is currently no provision for 2 year olds, the LA have facilitated the establishment of new provision to provide the required places. In some rural locations where the numbers of eligible children are insufficient to sustain a group provision, work has been undertaken and is on-going to promote childminders as an option to parents.

As part of this development in 2018 the LA recommenced a pre-registration childminding training programme. 7 new registered childminders are offering 30 hours childcare after attending our course.

2.2. Three and four year olds

In order to meet our duty to provide sufficient childcare free of charge we work with providers to encourage them to join the early education funding directory of providers who have registered to deliver the funded free childcare offer.  

The Sufficiency and Funding Team work with existing providers in financial difficulties to assess the reason for their financial pressures and will, when deciding on the need for any financial support, take the sufficiency of places in an area into account. Support is also provided to potential new providers looking to move into the sector; advice is given about where a new provision would be welcome and where it would be unlikely to succeed due to there already being sufficient or over supply in some areas.

All settings offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality:

All settings offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 36% 60% 77% 78% 81% 69% 70% (43)
East Dorset 45% 66% 68% 72% 78% 70% 72% (71)
North Dorset 43% 64% 70% 72% 84% 74%

73%

(56)
Purbeck 41% 62% 65% 78% 87% 70%

84%

(37) 
West Dorset 50% 63% 64% 74% 81% 76%

86%

(83)
Weymouth and Portland 54% 57% 70% 65% 76% 79%

82%

(54) 
DC Dorset 46% 63% 69% 73% 78% 73%

78%

(344)
Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018

Daycare and pre-school or playgroup settings offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality:

Daycare and pre-school or playgroup settings offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018 
Christchurch 80% 84% 85% 94% 94% 82% 84% (16)
East Dorset 91% 96% 89% 88% 98% 88% 93% (39)
North Dorset 95% 97% 91% 86% 100% 84%

88%

(30)

Purbeck 100% 100% 90% 95% 100% 90%

100%

(19)
West Dorset 95% 100% 94% 96% 100% 94%

96%

(51)

Weymouth and Portland 94% 100% 100% 85% 94% 88%

88%

(30)

DC Dorset 93% 97% 92% 90% 98% 89%

92%

(185)

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018.

Childminders offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality:

Childminders offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018 
Christchurch 11% 45% 72% 70% 74% 64% 71% (27)
East Dorset 16% 47% 55% 61% 64% 56% 65% (32)
North Dorset 15% 41% 57% 61% 71% 65%

79%

(26)

Purbeck 12% 39% 50% 67% 77% 57%

72%

(18)
West Dorset 5% 28% 40% 53% 60% 58%

74%

(32)

Weymouth and Portland 20% 27% 48% 49% 59% 70%

75%

(24)

DC Dorset 13% 38% 53% 60% 67% 61%

72%

(159)

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018.

Number of childcare providers for school-age children (5 to 7) by district and year for:

After school club:

Childminders offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 6 7 7 7 7 6 10
East Dorset 13 11 11 7 10 10 10
North Dorset 19 20 18 15 14 15

16

Purbeck 9 9 10 10 11 11

10

West Dorset 19 17 17 15 15 14

15

Weymouth and Portland 13 12 12 11 10 10

9

DC Dorset 79 76 75 65 67 66

70

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018.

Holiday club:

Childminders offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 3 4 3 3 4 3 3
East Dorset 10 8 9 5 6 6 7
North Dorset 14 14 11 8 8 10

11

Purbeck 8 8 7 7 6 6

7

West Dorset 15 14 15 14 14 12

13

Weymouth and Portland 10 11 11 10 9 9

7

DC Dorset 60 59 56 47 47 46

48

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018.

Breakfast club:

Childminders offering places for the early learning and childcare free entitlement in DCC Dorset for 2012 to 2018 by locality
Area2012201320142015201620172018
Christchurch 3 5 5 6 6 5 6
East Dorset 12 13 12 10 11 12 11
North Dorset 18 19 18 16 16 16

16

Purbeck 9 9 11 11 11 11

10

West Dorset 17 18 19 18 18 17

18

Weymouth and Portland 16 15 15 14 13 13

12

DC Dorset 75 79 80 75 75 74

73

Source: Dorset FIS Synergy Database autumn 2018.

In respect of school age children, there was a reduction of 15% in after-school clubs and 22% in holiday clubs in the period from 2012 to 2016. This trend has slightly improved over the 2 years since with an increase of 4% in after school clubs and 2% in holiday clubs. During that time the number of breakfast clubs has remained static. The Family Information Service continues to receive very few enquiries from parents having difficulty finding suitable provision for their children.

The increase in the number of childcare providers for school-age children offering free entitlement provision is largely explained by the introduction of the extended 30 hours offer for working parents and the ability for parents to “stretch” the use of their free entitlement.

2.3. Childcare costs

Childcare providers have faced significant cost increases since 2011 including an increase of 28.8% in the National Minimum/Living Wage from £6.08 in 2011 to £7.83 in April 2018 with a further increase of 4.9% in the National Living Wage confirmed with effect from April 2019. 

In addition, childcare providers have also faced significant increases in their utility bills and also the introduction of the workplace pension’s scheme requiring employer contributions of 3%. A substantial increase in the rateable values of premises in 2017 also saw some providers, particularly private providers, face significant increases in their business rates costs.

Average weekly childcare costs (for 2 and over) by region and nation for 2018   

Average weekly childcare costs
Average weekly childcare costs for 2 years and over by region and nation for 2018

Source: Family and Childcare Trust Childcare Costs Survey 2018, Dorset FIS Synergy Database

2.4. Workforce Statistics

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has the following qualification requirements:

  • in group settings, the manager must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification
  • childminders must have completed training which helps them to understand and implement the EYFS before they can register with Ofsted or a childminder agency

Within the 2018 Department for Education’s annual census, Dorset early year providers reported the following for qualification levels of their staff (includes childminders):

  • 1,861 staff working with children aged under 5
  • 206 are Level 2 qualified
  • 896 are in a non-management role and are qualified to Level 3 or above
  • 384 are in a management role and are qualified to Level 3 or above

This means that:

  • 69% of Dorset’s early years workforce are qualified to Level 3 or above
  • 11% are qualified to Level 2
  • 20% are unqualified

The census also collects data on the number of staff who hold a graduate level status:

  • 62 Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) which is 3%
  • 105 Early Years Professional/Teacher Status (EYPS/EYTS) which is 6%

However, our local data indicates that some providers and childminders are confused by EYTS/EYPS terminology and the actual number working in an early year setting in 2017/18 holding either was actually 87. Only one new Dorset practitioner achieved EYTS during the year (NB EYTS replaced EYPS in 2013).

Private and voluntary early years providers can access Dorset Council’s Graduate Leader Fund if they employ staff with EYPS or EYTS. In 2017/18 55 providers were in receipt of this funding (including 8 childminders).

Dorset Council also provide funding for early years staff to gain qualification. These figures show how many were funded in 2017/18:

  • Level 2: 18
  • Level 3: 14
  • Level 5 (foundation degree/HND): 12
  • Level 6 (degree): 0
  • Total: 44

However, these figures don’t reflect the actual numbers completing qualifications as some are funded via other routes (mostly apprenticeship schemes), or self-fund.

DCC has a workforce development plan to continue to encourage and incentivise early years practitioners to increase their qualification level. 

2.5. Children Who Are Disabled

There has been a continued focus on inclusive childcare and a demonstrated commitment to equality and diversity across all early years services.

A new system of banded entitlement was introduced in April 2018 replacing the historical system of paying for 1:1 support. This was introduced following consultation with providers and brings the early years additional support funding assessment process into line with the banded approach now used in schools. 

In the autumn term 2018 there were 110 of Dorset’s early years children with SEND supported through additional funding to enable access to their free entitlement. This was spread across 64 settings. This includes 11 children accessing the extended offer for more than 15 hours. 

There has been a positive promotion of two-year-old free early learning to families through a campaign of targeted marketing and the continued use of the 'Golden Ticket'. This contributes to serve the best outcomes for children who are disabled.

As part of the implementation of the Early Years National Funding Formula (EYNFF), introduced by the government from April 2017, a new Disability Access Fund (DAF) was created. This pays an annual amount of £615 to childcare providers for each child they have who is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). In the first year of DAF in 2017/18, Dorset paid out DAF to 109 providers against an allocation of funds from DfE of 110 DAF eligible children. This high % take up has been recognised by DfE as exemplary practice. 

In addition, the new EYNFF also introduced a requirement that all LAs create an Inclusion Fund to support providers with children with emerging SEN; in Dorset this fund is currently a maximum of £500 per eligible child to be used for early intervention and forms the lowest band in the new banding system of additional support funding.

This increased focus on and funding for children with SEND, together with the extension of the 2-year-old free entitlement criteria to include children with SEND will ensure that an increasing number of Dorset’s children who are disabled will be able to access good quality childcare thereby improving their school readiness.  

3. Childcare Demand

3.1. Family Information Service, Dorset Council

Section 12 of the Childcare Act 2006 places a duty on LAs to ensure that parents have sufficient information, advice and assistance about childcare places in their area. The government issues statutory guidance about what this means in terms of the sorts of information and brokerage services LAs should provide and the role of Family Information Service (FIS) in delivering them.

The FIS role is to ensure parents, children, young people, families, carers and practitioners can access the full range of 0-19 information they need.  Typically, this includes information on childcare, family support services, activities of all types, family and play facilities, parent support, funding and brokerage of other 0-19 services.

3.2. Early Learning & Childcare Free Entitlement for children aged 2 years old

Current Position

In September 2013, the DfE introduced a statutory entitlement to 15 hours of free early education for the 20% most disadvantaged two-year olds. Eligibility for this entitlement is benefit based and follows the same criteria as that for Free School Meals. The entitlement was extended in September 2014 to include working families in receipt of working tax credits and an annual income below £16,190.  The eligibility criteria were also expanded in 2017/18 to reflect the introduction of Universal Credit meaning that families in receipt of Universal Credit and earning less than £15,400 are now eligible for a 2-year-old funded place.

Dorset has a fully automated on-line checking system for parents to self-serve and check their eligibility for a two-year-old funded early education place. Mediated access to this on-line system is available via Dorset Direct for those families who do not have access to internet facilities or who need help to access the eligibility checking system. 

Take up of 2 year old Early Learning and Childcare Free Entitlement, summer 2018 to 2019:

Take up of 2 year old Early Learning and Childcare Free Entitlement
AreaNumber of eligible familiesNumber of families accessing2018/19
Christchurch 102 68 66.7
East Dorset 154 131 85.1
North Dorset 171 158 92.4
Purbeck 105 71 67.6
West Dorset 194 148 76.3
Weymouth and Portland 268 223 83.2
DC Dorset 994 799 80.4
Source: DfE List of Potentially Eligible families and Dorset FIS Synergy Database summer 2018 (excludes children from out of county).

The figures in the above table are for the summer term which traditionally is lower for 2-year olds. In the spring term 2018 for example the overall take up figure was 87.5%. There is a need to gain a deeper understanding of the lower % take up in Purbeck.  

3.3. Early Learning & Childcare Free Entitlement for Children aged 3 to 4 years

The main intake to all Dorset schools is at the start of the autumn term, September, following the child’s fourth birthday. Very few parents defer their child’s school place until January although this is an option.

The most recent statistics published by the DfE in June 2018 show that take up of the free entitlement by three and four-year olds overall in Dorset from the 2018 census is 101% which compares positively with a national figure of 94% and a South West figure of 97%. 

Take up of Early Learning & Childcare Free Entitlement 2018 for 3 and 4 year olds:

Take up of 2 year old Early Learning and Childcare Free Entitlement
AreaTake-up 2017Take-up 2018
Christchurch 85% 87%
East Dorset 110% 111%
North Dorset 90% 89%
Purbeck 101% 97%
West Dorset 100% 101%
Weymouth and Portland 105% 99%
DC Dorset 99% 99%
Source: DfE List of Potentially Eligible families and Dorset FIS Synergy Database summer 2018 (excludes children from out of county).

We conclude that we have been effective in marketing the free entitlement and successful in ensuring that the take up of the free entitlement is universal amongst eligible families. The average number of hours universal entitlement taken up per week in the summer term 2018 was 14 and for the extended entitlement this was 23. We continue to work to improve the level of take up among families, in particular those in disadvantaged areas where take up is lower.

3.4. Educational Attainment as measured by 2018 Early Years Foundation Stage Profile

Percentage of pupils with a 'good level of development'

Percentage of pupils with a 'good level of development'
Area201320142015201620172018
Dorset 61% 68% 68% 70% 69% 70%
Statistical neighbour 53% 62% 68% 71% 71% 72%
National 52% 60% 66% 69% 71% 71%
Source: Dorset EYFS profile 2018.

Dorset is performing broadly in line with both statistical neighbours and the national average in 2018. Comparisons with EYFS profile results earlier than 2013 are not possible due to a change in the method of recording the data.

The percentage achievement gap between the lowest attaining 20% of children and the mean:

Percentage of pupils with a 'good level of development'
Area201320142015201620172018
Dorset 26.2% 24.1% 24.9% 25.9% 26.6% 28.4%
Statistical neighbour 31.5% 29.3% 27.8% 26.9% 27.8% 27.9%
National 36.6% 33.9% 32.1% 31.4% 31.7% 31.8%
Source: Dorset EYFS Profile 2018

Dorset is performing in line with its statistical neighbours and better than the national average in 2018. Comparisons with EYFS profile results earlier than 2013 are not possible due to a change in the method of recording the data.

Percentage of pupils achieving at minimum expected level in the areas of learning:

Percentage of pupils with a 'good level of development'
AreaCOMPHYPSELITMATUTWEXP
Dorset 2018 (2017) 84 (83) 89 (89) 87 (86) 73 (72) 79 (78) 88 (87) 91 (91)
England 2018 (2017) 82 (82) 87 (88) 85 (85) 73 (73) 78 (78) 84 (84) 87 (87)
South West 2018 (2017) 84 (84) 88 (88) 86 (86) 74 (74) 80 (80) 86 (86) 89 (89)
Source: Dorset EYFS Profile 2018

Dorset is performing well in comparison with the South West and the national average in 2018. Comparisons with EYFS profile earlier than 2013 results are not possible due to a change in the method of recording the data. Work is underway in Purbeck trialling a programme called “WellComm” ™. This is a speech and language toolkit for screening and intervention in pre-schools. Recognising that communication skills, and early identification is crucial this will be evaluated and if successful will be rolled out in 2019/20. 

3.5. Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP)

EYPP was introduced for all eligible 3 and 4-year olds with effect from 1 April 2015; eligibility for this entitlement is benefit based and follows the same criteria as that of free school meals. In 2018 the eligibility was extended to incorporate parents in receipt of Universal Credit.

EYPP is equivalent to 53p per hour up to a maximum of £302.10 per eligible child per annum where a child takes the maximum 15 hours per week for 38 weeks per year. This funding is paid to providers for each eligible child they identify and carry out an eligibility check on through DCC’s fully on-line self-service checking process. For the summer term 2018, there were 546 children claimed for by providers. This represents 99% of the estimated take-up assumed by the DfE when allocating the EYPP funding to the LA for 2018/19.

Providers have to demonstrate to Ofsted how the additional money generated by the EYPP has been spent on improving the outcomes for their eligible children and what difference it has made to their outcomes.

3.6. Looked after children and the Virtual School Head

Children who are looked after by the LA are also eligible for EYPP. However, in the case of these children the funding of £302.10 is not paid to providers based on claims made, but the decision as to how the funding should be used is the responsibility of the Virtual School Head.

The Virtual School Head has to decide how to spend these funds in order to maximise the impact on the outcomes for looked after children in the county, In Dorset the Virtual School Head has decided to distribute the funding to those providers where Looked after Children attend. This is in recognition of the high proportion of looked after children attending 'good' or 'outstanding' provision. 

The Sufficiency and Funding team and the Early Years and Childcare Service work closely with the Virtual School Head in order to ensure that looked after children are taking up their free early education entitlement in high quality provision.

3.7. Introduction of 30 Hours Free Childcare Entitlement

From September 2017 the government introduced a statutory entitlement to an additional 15 hours of free early education making 30 in total, for eligible families where all parents in the family are working and earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Minimum Wage and no parent in the household is earning more than £100,000 per annum.

The DfE estimated that in Dorset there will be at least 3025 eligible families. There is now a statutory duty on the LA to ensure sufficient childcare places to enable parents to take up this increased entitlement.

In December 2017 the DfE contacted Dorset to ask if we would be interested in participating in an early roll out programme of offering the extended entitlement to all eligible families within Dorset from the start of the summer term in April 2017. 

Dorset’s early roll out of the new extended entitlement in the summer term 2017 was very successful with some 1914 children being able to claim additional hours above the universal 15 hours. This equated to 259,000 hours for the term, representing total savings in childcare costs for all parents of approximately £1million.

A campaign of targeted marketing utilising social media contributed to the fact that by the summer term 2018 there were 3022 children in an extended entitlement place. This represents 100% of the initial DfE estimate of the number of eligible children in Dorset.

In March 2018, the LA were notified they had been successful in a bid for grant funding to assist with improving take up of the extended entitlement. Part of that funding was to enable some analysis of demand and supply data at Lower Super Output Area Level (LSOA) to assist in ensuring sufficient extended entitlement places are available across the county.

Summary analysis of free entitlement supply and demand places, summer 2018:

Percentage of pupils with a 'good level of development'
LSOAAnticipated universal entitlement demandAnticipated additional entitlement demandTotal anticipated demandEstimated places availablePotential capacity
East Dorset 1,103 629 1,727 2,826 1,071
North Dorset 1,029 560 1,589 2701 1,111
Purbeck 636 345 981 1,743 762
Weymouth and Portland 1,053 527 1,580 2751 1,171
West Dorset 1,291 732 1,999 3,926 1,789
Christchurch 504 275 779 1,751 972
Total 5,617 3,068 8,655 15,698 6,876

The analysis shows, at a summary level, a potential capacity of nearly 7,000 places however this analysis is not able to allow for non-funded children taking up registered places at providers and so the actual capacity will be somewhat less.

A project of targeted work is planned for the spring term 2019 to examine those LSOAs with capacity of less than 10 places to examine the sufficiency of places at a detailed level and, where necessary, take action to address any potential shortfalls.

4. Summary

In summary, this assessment has identified no significant gaps in childcare provision in Dorset. There has been a small decrease in the overall numbers of childcare providers but an increase in the overall numbers delivering the free early education offer; the numbers eligible for the free entitlement and an increase in the quality of provision all increasing parent choice.

The report identifies the need to continue to monitor take up of the 2-year-old free early learning and childcare offer in order to ensure that the introduction of the extended off for 3 and 4-year olds does not result in a drop in the availability and take up of places by our disadvantaged 2-year olds. In addition, we will need to continue to develop the market to sustain the successful expansion of the increased 30 hours funding entitlement. The analysis of Supply and demand at Lower Super Output Area level (LSOA) will enable work to be targeted to those areas most likely to have a sufficiency issue in the future.

Where specific gaps have been identified they are addressed in the following action plan. This includes plans to take action to ensure the continuation of a secure and high quality childcare market in Dorset.

5. Childcare Sufficiency Action Plan 2018 to 2020

5.2 Maintain the quality of provision to ensure children can attend provision which is at least 'good'.

Childcare sufficiency action plan 2018 to 2020
Priority area Action Responsibility TimescaleReview/outcome
5.1 Educational attainment. School readiness.
  • increase take-up of the EYPP for eligible 3 and 4 year olds and ensure quality intervention by providers. Monitor effectiveness through case study evidence
  • WellComm: evaluate and roll out across county if evaluation demonstrates improved outcomes for children's communication.
Maureen Whitfield March 2020  
5.2 Maintain the quality of provision to ensure children can attend provision which is at least 'good'.
  • maintain the numbers of providers achieving a good or outstanding outcome at first inspections
  • targeted work in Purbeck, North and West Dorset to address the slight drop in good and outstanding judgements
Maureen Whitfield March 2020  
5.3 To continue to focus on inclusive childcare and demonstrate a commitment to equality and diversity across our service.
  • review the operation and introduction of the SEND additional funding banding system
  • monitor the Early Years and Childcare Local Offer
Maureen Whitfield March 2019  
5.4 To maintain the take-up of disadvantaged 2 year olds across Dorset. Complete an in-depth assessment of take-up by disadvantaged 2 year olds in Purbeck.  Maureen Whitfield March 2020  
5.5 To continue the work on ensuring the sustainable roll-out of 30 hours free entitlement. A project of targeted work is planned for the spring term 2019 to examine those LSOAs with capacity of under 10 places, to examine the sufficiency of places at a detailed level and to take action to address any potential shortfalls. Maureen Whitfield March 2020  

 

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