Annual review of Barnsley’s childcare places

Our Cabinet members will be given an update on the findings of the Barnsley 2023 childcare sufficiency assessment (CSA) at their next meeting on Wednesday 6 March.

A CSA is a report about the amount of childcare in the borough, mapping the demand and supply of childcare. We have a legal duty to make sure that we have enough childcare available in Barnsley, so we meet demand and parents can work or get back into training. We also know that good quality early years and childcare provision makes a positive difference to the outcomes of children.

The assessment helps parents understand the types of childcare and the places on offer in Barnsley, so they can make the best decision for their family. It also supports childcare providers to understand the local childcare market and to help them make informed choices to better meet the childcare needs of families in Barnsley. 

The government has announced an expansion of entitlements to children, firstly aged two years and secondly, nine months, along with the development of ‘wraparound’ provision between the hours of 8am and 6pm during school days, in 2024/25; so it’s critical that we ensure the local market for child-care is equipped to meet the needs of working families with young children but we know that there is a national challenge in implementing the expansion at the rate and size required.  

There is the need to create a significant number of places in the borough to meet anticipated demand in line with the expansion of new entitlements, particularly for children aged up to two years, as well as the wraparound childcare offer. There is still a good mixture of childcare across Barnsley, but some parents may not be able to access their preferred choice and may have to travel to access a place.

We have set up a local multi-agency steering group to develop a delivery plan for meeting these needs across Barnsley.

The plan will include encouraging new providers while supporting existing providers and expanding capacity.

It will help create full-day care provision in areas where this isn’t currently available, as well as encouraging additional schools to provide 30 hours of care in a way which meets the requirements of working parents.

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: "Our early years settings remain among the very best in the country as judged by Ofsted and we know that good quality early years education has a positive long-term impact on outcomes and the life chances of children.

“This annual review, together with the work of the local multi-agency steering group and our delivery plan will help a greater number of young children to obtain a good start in life and effectively prepare them for school as well as enable working parents and carers to continue to engage with the employment market and attract further investment into Barnsley.” 

The Childcare Sufficiency Report can be read in full here

If you need support finding childcare, our Family Hubs and Start for Life team can help. Visit or give the team a call on 0800 0345 340.

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