PARENTS who are struggling to find childcare places in their area are being encouraged to take part in a survey to help the council to meet childcare needs.

The council sends out a childcare sufficiency assessment each year to help meet the needs to parents and carers across the borough and to make sure that every child receives good quality early years education.

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.

Council bosses are keen to understand what problems parents or cares have had finding childcare places to be able to return back to work, if there were any challenges faced, and if you haven't been able to find a childcare place for your child – amongst other queries.

Coun 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.”

If you would like to get involved and contribute, please email the team at