Calling all parents and carers with childcare needs – we need your help!

Are you a parent or carer who’s recently accessed, or is looking to access childcare in Barnsley? If so, we’d really appreciate your help and feedback on your experiences to help us assess and review the current childcare provision in Barnsley and whether the number of places available meet the needs of families and carers with young children across the borough.

As a local council, we have a duty and legal responsibility to make sure childcare across our borough meets the needs of parents/carers – not only to make sure our young people receive the best start in life through early years education, but also so that parents and carers can return to work - or get back into work through training.

In order to do this, each year we carry out a childcare sufficiency assessment which looks in detail at the childcare currently available to see if there are enough childcare places for the needs and number of children requiring childcare across the borough. A crucial part of the assessment is to hear first-hand from parents and carers who have recently accessed childcare, are perhaps going through the process or have maybe been unsuccessful in securing the childcare needed.

So, if this applies to you, we’d really like to hear from you to share with us any challenges or barriers you’ve faced, such as:

  • Any problems finding childcare places to allow you to return to work or undertake training.
  • If your return to work or work arrangements have been affected by the childcare provision available to you.
  • Any challenges or barriers you faced, for example, could they accommodate the hours you needed? could they be flexible? was it affordable?
  • Any problems accessing wrap around care before and after school
  • Any difficulties in accessing childcare within a reasonable distance from your home, or lack of choice in your area
  • Experience of waiting lists to access childcare in your area
  • If you haven’t been able to find a place for your child to access their entitlement to free early education and care.

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Our annual Childcare Sufficiency Report is vital in helping us make sure we’re meeting the needs of families and carers across the borough. I’d really urge parents or carers to share with us their experiences as it will go a long way in helping us identify the barriers families come across, how these could be overcome and assess where there might be a need for more childcare provision. It also provides us with the knowledge needed to help new childcare businesses to set up or existing settings to expand to meet these needs.

“We strive to be a learning Barnsley and providing sufficient childcare is essential to help parents or carers return to work, take steps to return to work or undertake training to increase their skills to gain employment. It’s also vital that every child has the opportunity to access early education for a great start in life as they lay their early development foundations for their learning journey.”

The findings and actions from the assessment will be shared in our Annual Childcare Sufficiency Report.

If you would like to get involved and contribute, please email the team at infoFIS@barnsley.gov.uk. As each scenario differs and may be complex, you may prefer to have a chat with a member of the team over the phone. If that’s the case, please include that in the email and someone will get in touch to call you. All contributions will be completely confidential and no names shared in the report.

For more information about childcare in Barnsley, support accessing childcare or financial support, please visit our Barnsley Family Services Directory website.

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