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Cardiff Council

Childcare sufficiency assessment

​​​​Councils are required by law to survey the amount of childcare in area and write a detailed report to show if there is enough childcare to support parents to work or train. If there are gaps, the Council must show how it plans to support childcare providers to set up new childcare services to fill these gaps. This is known as the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment or CSA. 

You can view the full Childcare Sufficiency Assessment​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window​, but as it is a long document (around 300 pages) with lots of data in tables and graphs, we have produced this shorter version which shows the most important findings, the planned actions.

What we did​​

Cardiff Council was sent information on childcare provision by the Care Inspectorate Wales, who are responsible for registering and inspecting childcare.

The information included details of the location, number and type of childcare; the language used at the childcare setting; the number of children attending and any empty places or waiting lists.

The CSA also requires Councils to break down the information by childcare provider types (e.g. childminders, nurseries) and also by the services they provide (e.g. morning session, after school, full day care) to understand if there are waiting lists for certain childcare providers types or services, and where in Cardiff any waiting lists are. 


Neighbourhood Planning Areas​

In order to divide Cardiff into geographical areas, the CSA used the Council's Neighbourhood Planning Areas (NPA), each of which is made up of a number of wards shown in the table below. We looked at the overall number of empty places or children on waiting lists in each NPA, by childcare provider type and by service. So if there were 10 children waiting for places in out of school clubs for the after school service, but there were 15 empty places with childminders for an after school service in that NPA, there would still be 5 empty places overall for the after school service.

Neighbourhood Planning Area Electoral Wards
Cardiff NorthRhiwbina, Heath, Lisvane, Llanishen, Cyncoed, Penylan, Pentwyn, Pontprennau and Old St. Mellons
Cardiff EastLlanrumney, Rumney, Trowbridge
Cardiff South EastGabalfa, Cathays (part), Plasnewydd, Adamsdown, Splott
Cardiff City and​ SouthCity Centre, Butetown, Grangetown, Cathays (part)
Cardiff South WestEly, Caerau, Canton, Riverside
Cardiff WestCreigiau / St Fagans, Pentyrch, Radyr and Morganstown, Whitchurch and​ Tongwynlais, Fairwater, Llandaff, Llandaff North


​What we found and what we plan to do​​

The CSA shows that mostly across Cardiff, there is sufficient childcare to meet the needs of parents to access work and training.  However, there are some localities, types of childcare provision and specific childcare services where the data indicates that there is some unmet demand.  The planned actions are shown under each finding. 

Potential unmet demand​​

There are lower numbers of childcare providers in Cardiff East compared to Cardiff as whole and waiting lists for specific services in four other NPAs (Cardiff North, City and Cardiff South, Cardiff South West and Cardiff West).  


Our first action will be to carry out further detailed research with the childcare providers in these areas to check the information is correct, and to see if existing childcare providers can increase the number of places they offer to meet this need. Where this is not possible, we will try an encourage childcare providers to open a new setting. 

Welsh medium provision​

The data identifies potential Welsh medium demand for morning sessions in Cardiff North; full daycare and Cylch Meithrin sessions in Cardiff West; and after school care in City and Cardiff South, Cardiff South West and Cardiff West.

There are opportunities and funding, linked to the Welsh Government's Cymraeg 2050 scheme and Cardiff Council's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan to develop or expand Welsh medium childcare linked to Welsh medium primary schools.

We will promote the Welsh language taster courses designed for the childcare and early years workforce to seek to address the low numbers of Welsh medium childminders and limited Welsh language skills of many childcare staff.​


Affordability remains a key issue for many families who want or need to access childcare.

Cardiff Family Advice and Support are key partners in increasing parents' and carers' knowledge about the range of financial assistance available to help with childcare costs.
  We will make sure the information needed by parents is available on the Cardiff Family Advice and Support website and in a booklet for parents.

More settings will be encouraged to sign up to provide Tax Free Childcare to help working parents. 

ALN, SEN and disability

Data indicates that not all childcare settings are aware of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (ALNet) and their responsibilities. 

We will increase childcare providers' awareness and access to advice, support, guidance and training, in order to respond to the needs of children.


Support for the childcare sector​​

Feedback from childcare providers shows that they are having difficulties in being able to recruit and retain qualified childcare workers. 

There are opportunities for working with the Councils' Into Work Service and the Cardiff Commitment to contribute to supporting the sector.

Improving quality, accuracy, and consistency of data​​

It became clear when looking at the data that not all childcare settings had understood the instructions in the same way. This means that some of the data used to produce the CSA may not have been totally accurate.

Work is needed to make sure the annual updates, and future Childcare Sufficiency Assessments are informed by the most accurate data possible, so although not just a Cardiff issue, we will work with key partners to improve data accuracy.

© 2022 Cardiff Council