About the Early Years Census
The Early Years Census is a statutory collection of data which takes place every January about early years providers that receive government funding for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. Providers must complete this by law and any provider failing to comply may be removed from the directory of providers and could lose the right to funding. Census submissions are used to determine how much funding each local authority is allocated.
Providers that must contribute to the census include:
- All private, voluntary or independent nurseries and providers of early years education
- Childminders and childminding networks
Early Years Census 2022 documents
Today (14 January) the Department for Education (DfE) issued new guidance ahead of the January 2022 EY Census which begins next week in England. This guidance (listed below) is designed to support early years providers and local authorities to accurately record their census returns.
- Early Years Census 2022 Guide
- Additional coronavirus-related supporting documentation: This supplements the Early Years Census 2022 Guide to support early years providers and local authorities to make their Early Years Census 2022 returns accurately and consistently. It outlines various scenarios where your entitlement hours may be affected by coronavirus.
The guidance linked above tells providers how to record their census, in particular where there is reduced attendance or short-term closures as a direct impact of coronavirus.
In general, providers should record the ‘normal situation’ that would otherwise apply during the week beginning 17 January 2022.
This means providers should include children who are temporarily absent due to holiday, sickness and self-isolation in their return. It also includes “children who were expected to start attending the provision in January” e.g. where parents had signed a signed a parental declaration with the setting on planned hours.
A census should be returned in situations where a provider has attempted to remain open but had to temporarily closed or restrict access to children. For example, you should submit your ‘normal situation’ if your setting has temporarily closed due to staff shortages because of illness, self-isolation or caring for own children, or having been advised to close by a public health or local authority team.
Settings should not submit a census return if they have chosen to temporarily close due to staff caution or limiting anticipated attendance, or for any other reason not detailed in the guidance.
Full information and example scenarios can be found in the guidance.