The Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents Series provides salient, up-to-date information on parents’ use of childcare and early years provision, and their views and experiences. The survey aims to provide information to help monitor the progress of policies in the area of childcare and early years provision.
The Coalition Government has introduced a number of changes in early years policy since coming to office in May 2010. It plans to extend free early education to 40 per cent of two-year-olds (with a focus on the most disadvantaged) by 2014, increase the flexibility of free early education for three- and four-year-olds, and promote quality and diversity across the childcare and early education sector. It has also consulted on a new purpose for the national network of Sure Start Children’s Centres.
Other relevant policy changes include a reduction in the proportion of childcare costs that can be claimed via means-tested Working Tax Credit from April 2011, the announcement of the Nutbrown Review to consider how best to strengthen qualifications and training for staff in early years settings, and a revised framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage to apply from September 2012.
The survey was carried out face-to-face
in parents’ homes between September 2010 and April 2011. Just over 6,700 parents in England with children aged under 15 took part. The sample of parents was ultimately derived using Child Benefit Records. The survey was designed to be comparable with previous surveys in the series. The survey over-sampled two- to four-year-olds to ensure adequate numbers for the analysis. The response rate to the survey was 57 per cent.