Our CSA survey

We carried out a survey of parents and carers in September and October 2020 to support the assessment of childcare sufficiency. We asked questions about:

  • how parents and carers use formal and informal childcare
  • the impact of Covid-19
  • the costs of childcare

We used different ways of getting the views of all parents and carers including:

  • Dorset Council press release
  • social media
  • schools and early years settings sharing our survey

We also included questions about the experience and views of families with children with special educational needs and disability (SEND). We worked with the Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC) and contacted organisations that support children with SEND and their families.

Here are some of the things you told us and how we're planning to make changes in response:

You said: some settings are making additional charges to access early education places for our children

We will:

  • make sure our online information about early education funded places clearly explains all the facts about what early years settings can charge for
  • support early years settings to access all available funding to increase their revenue

You said: the opening hours of local provision does not suit our working patterns

We will:

  • share your feedback with our early years providers
  • encourage providers who offer before school, after school and holiday clubs (wraparound provision) to review their opening hours to better meet the needs of working parents
  • reflect this issue in the business support pages for early years settings when evaluating their business model or considering new provision

You said: affordability is a factor in not being able to access childcare to suit our needs

We will work with early years providers and schools to:

  • increase the availability of wraparound provision for children aged 0 to 14, or 18 if they have SEND
  • improve information available about wraparound provision for children aged 0 to 14, or 18 if they have SEND

You said: there does not seem to be any suitable local childcare options for before school, after school and holiday care for my child who has SEND

We will work with early years providers and schools to:

  • increase the availability of wraparound provision for children aged 0 to 18 for children who have SEND
  • improve information about the available childcare for children with SEND on our Family Information Directory

You said: there does not seem to be any suitable childcare options for my children who've left primary school

We will:

  • work with schools and settings to increase the offer of wraparound provision for older children
  • add an option to search for childcare by age range in our Family Information Directory, making it easier for parents to search for childcare for older children and children with SEND
  • share information about the different types of childcare provider who might be able to meet the needs of families

We have been working with schools to ensure offers of wraparound provision are included in their records. We have listened to your feedback and will include this in our digital transformation work to improve our information, advice and guidance.

Follow our progress on these action points

You can keep up with our progress by:

People who responded to our 2020 to 2021 CSA survey

866 people responded to our 2020 to 2021 CSA survey. 

778 people said they were parents or carers from across Dorset. They had a total of 1,196 children.

This table shows the ages of the 1,196 children:

Table shows the age ranges of the people who responded to our CSA survey
Age range of children Number of children in age range
0 to 1 year 150
2 to 3 years 137
3 to 4 years 266
5 to 8 years 355
9 to 14 years 263
15 to 18 years with SEND 25

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