New Attendance Survey

The collection of attendance information from early years providers that Devon County Council (DCC) are required to submit to the Department for Education

Message from the DFE to DCC received 07.01.2021:

‘Before Christmas, we wrote to inform you that we would be reducing the frequency of the local authority early years data collection from weekly to fortnightly with effect from 7th January.  At the time of that decision, we felt that the national situation was stable enough for us to make the change. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4th January of a new national lockdown, we now find ourselves in a different position. After careful consideration we have decided that we need to return to a weekly collection while the current national COVID restrictions are in place, with immediate effect…with the new lockdown in place, it is essential that we have timely data to enable us to monitor supply, demand and resulting sufficiency of childcare places closely, and to identify emerging risks and issues as a result of the current lockdown. We also think that the data should be operationally useful to you and your local authority in helping to build an intelligence picture of what is happening in your area. Please be assured that it is our intention to reduce the frequency of the collection to fortnightly again as soon as we are able.

The Department for Education uses your data for the following purposes:

  • Identifying attendance trends at a national level, which helps us to understand changes in the health of the childcare market.
  • Identifying areas which are experiencing difficulties in meeting local demand for places and understanding the causes of these challenges.
  • Targeting our communication with LAs, so that our regional leads can bring forward routine calls or offer more frequent check-ins if needed.
  • Sharing the information, you provide with colleagues across Early Years and wider government to create an evidence base to inform policy development.’

We are sorry that this will be changing but are sure that you understand the reasons why as well as the lateness of this message being conveyed to you. Our team is conscious of the pressures on settings at the moment and always tries to manage our communications and the pace of change when this is within our control so as not to overly burden providers. There is an upside to this change and that is a move from daily to weekly returns so it is a step forward and a little less work for your staff.

On Tuesday 12th January all early years providers will be sent an email with a link to the new Attendance Survey and accompanying guidance. We need your survey to be completed and returned to us every Wednesday at the latest, so that we can make a return to the DFE each Thursday.

The turnaround for you to return the first attendance survey is very tight, please do the best that you can to get it back to us promptly. In the Tuesday email we will let you know when you can expect the next survey to be sent to you. You should have a little more time to complete the second one and will have the advantage of being familiar with the questions and layout.

Thank you once again for your commitment and support in completing the returns, it is very much appreciated.