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Provision and use of preschool childcare in Britain

Simon, A; Owen, C; Hollingworth, K; (2015) Provision and use of preschool childcare in Britain. (Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (SDAI) Phase 1 ). UCL Institute of Education: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Policy Context Access to childcare matters because it has been shown to be an important vehicle for increasing female employment which in turn helps reduce family poverty. Additionally, studies have concluded that it is only high quality childcare that improves the cognitive and social development outcomes of children, and narrow gaps between disadvantaged children and their peers. Quality provision has been shown to be closely associated with staff qualifications: key to achieving ‘good quality’, therefore, is an upskilling of the childcare workforce. Consequently, improving the qualifications profile of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) workforce has been a recurrent government priority. For example, the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department of Health (DH) jointly published a major strategic document, Supporting Families in the Foundation Years, which stated the fundamental importance of the early years and recognised the importance of a well-qualified workforce . In 2012 Cathy Nutbrown in her review of the workforce called for at least 50 per cent of childcare workers to be qualified to NVQ level 3 by 2013 , and in September 2014, a new Level Three Early Years Educator qualification was introduced. The Study In the context of these ongoing debates around ‘quality’, we undertook this research with the aim of understanding childcare provision and usage in Britain. In particular, we examined patterns of childcare usage, including combinations of formal and informal care, and the childcare workforce in terms of identifying the size of the workforce and who they were. We did this by carrying out a secondary analysis of a number of large-scale UK datasets, including the Family Resources Survey (FRS), Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents (CEYSP), Labour Force Survey (LFS) and Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey (CEYPS). The needs of those using childcare and those providing it have thus far been considered separately. However, only by examining these together can a full picture of usage and provision be obtained. This study uniquely incorporated both perspectives, thereby contributing to the development of policy in this vital area.

Type: Report
Title: Provision and use of preschool childcare in Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/sites/ioe/files/childcar...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Childcare, Early educatiion, ECEC
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10063405
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