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Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers

Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers

This is a major research project that produces official statistics about childcare and early years provision in England. It provides the Department for Education with the critical information needed to understand the sector. Results from the research help to inform future policy. This is your chance to have your voice heard about the important issues facing the early years sector. The research is being carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), Frontier Economics and IFF Research on behalf of the Department for Education.

Find out more about Frontier EconomicsIFF Research and the Department for Education.

Since 2018 the survey is being conducted yearly and this allows to obtain an accurate picture of how the childcare sector has been changing over time.

Computer What’s involved?

Taking part involves a completing a short 20-minute online survey about your setting. You will be contacted by email and possibly by post and/or text message.

You may have already participated in a survey in 2018 and/or 2019 and we really appreciate it if this is the case. It is, however, important that we hear from you again in 2020 so that we can gather up to-date evidence.

If we don’t hear from you, we will follow up with a phone call and invite you to take part over the phone at a time that suits you. 

Multiple Speech Bubbles What will you ask me about?

The survey will ask you about a range of topics including the number of children you look after, how many staff you have and your training needs.

This is not an inspection or assessment; we just want to know more about your setting in order to understand provision across the country.

Question MarkDo I have to answer all the questions?

Don’t worry – you don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to, you can just skip on to the next one.  

PadlockWe guard your privacy

We will treat the information you give us in the strictest confidence under the EU General Data Protection Regulation. The results collected will be used for research purposes only. Your personal information will be stored securely and no one but the research team at NatCen, Frontier Economics and IFF Research will be able to access it. At the end of the research, all data will be anonymised before being passed on to the Department for Education and stored in an archive for other researchers to analyse, and your personal information will be securely deleted.

You can see our privacy notice here.

community_large Why have I been selected to take part?

We’ve chosen you at random to make sure we get a truly unbiased, representative picture of childcare and early years provision across the country.

You can’t be replaced by any other childcare provider as this would bias the results. 

Info Where can I find out more?

For anything not covered on here, please call 0800 652 4572 or email One of our staff will get back to you to answer your query as soon as possible.

If you would like to contact the Department for Education about this project, you can email

Smiley Man Who is carrying out this survey?

We are carrying out this survey in partnership with Frontier Economics and IFF Research. You can find out more about who NatCen are and what we do here.