DfE LA childcare sufficiency support 2023-2025

Hempsall’s have been working on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) since March 2023, providing a package of delivery support to local authorities in fulfilling sufficiency duties, ensuring there is enough available childcare places across local areas. So all young children are enabled to access high-quality early years provision and to meet the demand for childcare for school-aged children.

The scope of the childcare sufficiency support contract has been extended to include supporting local authorities to deliver the expanded entitlements from April 2024.

Project aims

The project’s aim is to provide a package of delivery support to local authorities in fulfilling sufficiency duties, ensuring there is enough available childcare places across local areas to enable all young children to access high quality early years provision and to meet the demand for children for parents of school aged children. This now includes support to LAs to deliver the extended early years entitlements from April 2024.

Project scope

The scope covers LA sufficiency duties for high-quality childcare supply for early years and childcare places 0-14 years old, or 0-17 for disabled children, including activities to support:

  • change, sufficiency and sustainability
  • childcare market management
  • funding and the economic climate
  • responding to the continuing effects of the pandemic
  • sufficiency duty reporting (annually)
  • and delivery of the expanded early learning entitlements from April 2024.

Project activities

The project activities include:

  • Reactive work with LAs through referral from DfE where there is clear evidence and identified challenges or current risks in the LA meeting its sufficiency duties or LAs identified as needing support in their planning to deliver the expanded early years entitlements.
  • Providing events, materials, advice, support and challenge to LAs to facilitate the maintenance, planning for, or improvement of local childcare sufficiency, including the expanded early years entitlements. This will include thematic work focussed on key delivery activities for LAs, for example, assessing supply and demand, IT systems and processes, provider business support.
  • The enabling, facilitation, and coordination of one-to-one (and/or small group) peer support.
  • Helpdesk support for questions, clarifications and queries.
  • Regional face to face group meetings.
  • Online webinars and action learning seminars.

DfE role

The department will continue to retain the following functions:

  • Maintain named contact relationships with all LAs, holding regular keep-in-touch meetings, and being available for questions, clarifications and queries.
  • Identify risk and challenge via contact activities and refer support needs to Hempsall’s as necessary.
  • Continue to deliver key policy and delivery information and updates.

How to get involved in the programme

  • Speak with your named DfE contact if you have sufficiency challenges and needs during your regular one-to-one catch ups (or regional meetings). DfE may make a referral on your behalf or ask you to make a self-referral for any support needs.
  • Continue to complete DfE readiness self-assessment surveys which the Department uses to identify issues related to delivery nationally.
  • Contact the Hempsall’s helpdesk if you have any queries sufficiency@coramhempsalls.org.uk.
  • Become a peer supporter of other LAs – share good practice and/or support delivery of action learning sets and webinars.

Read more about our general childcare sufficiency services by visiting our sufficiency assessments page and by clicking here.

Hempsall's