Sound research with an early years and children's services specialism

If you are looking for research informed by a sound understanding of early years and childcare provision and practice, parenting, or children’s centres, combined with robust research and evaluation techniques, we would like to hear from you.

You will find our research is methodologically sound, and reports are written for every audience; public (child, young person, parent, and community) and local authority officers, partners and leadership. Our clients constantly tell us our reports are not only well-written, they also contain informed analysis, practical and evidenced recommendations, and operational and strategic policy links for now and the future.

Our work has included some of the major initiatives in the sector and has changed over time. We are community focused enough so we can do one-to-one interviews with a sensitive and engaging approach in all communities and situations, with an ability to carefully manage any local political sensitivity.

Our childcare sufficiency assessment programme is extensive and makes us a leader in this field. It incorporates public consultations (questionnaire surveys, interviews, phone and online surveys and focus groups), desk research, gap and risk analysis and mapping of provision against demand and need.

We also deliver:

  • Nursery (maintained nursery, children’s centre etc.) reviews and evaluations
  • Parent consultations
  • Stakeholder and partner consultations
  • Feasibility studies
  • Project evaluation including across health, the arts, and social care.

Looking further back to our own early years we delivered many childcare audits, sure start consultations, local programme external independent evaluations, and childcare workforce surveys.

We are big enough for high volume telephone surveys, such as 2,000 parent telephone interviews started and finished in three weeks. Our research is focused on children’s centre reviews, childcare sufficiency annual reports, matching mapping and demand data to creating two-year-old places, sufficiency for 30-hours of childcare, parent satisfaction surveys, and independent evaluation.

Case Study: Researching the Effectiveness of the Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP), Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (SENF) and Disability Access fund (DAF). In Spring 2020, we worked with the Local Government Association (LGA) to look at the effectiveness of these three early years funding streams and to identify if any innovations or improvements could be made. On 25 November 2020, we shared the findings of our reports in a LGA webinar. You can download the reports here:

Childcare Works