Building Blocks 2018

PACEY’s third annual Building Blocks survey collected the views of over 2000 childcare and early years practitioners, our biggest survey yet. It provides a valuable, regular health check on the state of the early years sector. 

We asked questions about providers' experience, qualifications and training, working conditions, finances and future plans as well as seeking views on big issues facing the sector, such as the 30-hours offer. Read the full results below.




Due to the amazing response (2129 total) we had this year, as well as releasing our Building Blocks overview in the summer issue of Childcare Professional, you can now join our related children campaign as well as our in-depth report '30 hours - one year on'. In autumn, we will be releasing our second in-depth report 'Childcare and the early years workforce'. 

Related children campaign - join now 

We strongly believe that the ban in England on childminders providing funded places to related children in unfair and we will not stop campaigning until the ban is overturned. While we are continuing to raise the issue with government ministers, senior officials and parliamentarians, you can get involved and write to your MP. Download our template letter and get involved. 

30 hours - one year on 

Since September 2017, three- and four- year olds of eligible working parents in England have been entitled to 30 hours per week of government-funded early education and childcare. Nearly one year on from the start of the controversial 30 hours scheme, this report creates the first in a two part series, focusing specifically on our findings related to the new 30 hours childcare and early education entitlement. 

We asked practitioners whether they were offering and delivering government-funded places, and if not, what would make them more likely to do so in the future. For those delivering 30 hours, we asked a series of questions to better understand both the financial and administrative impact of the new scheme. 

Read the findings and full report. 

Focus on the workforce

This report focuses on our results related to the childcare and early years workforce. We look at practitioners’ job satisfaction, experience, qualifications and training, working conditions, finances and future plans.

We make a series of recommendations at the end of the report which outline practical steps government and local authorities need to take now to ensure the sector can recruit and retain dedicated and talented people that will provide high quality care and education for children.

Read the findings and full report. 



The Wales report includes the key findings from across the country and provides a valuable insight into the sector in Wales.  A further report, specifically around the Childcare Offer for Wales will be produced and published in early Autumn.

Building Blocks Wales: Key Findings


We have made a series of recommendations which you can read in the report in English and Welsh, outlining the key points to be considered- at a national and local level- by all those working with the sector. This will ensure positive outcomes for the substantial public investment in the sector, and ensure access to high quality childcare and early education in Wales that meets the needs of children and their families. 

Childcare Offer for Wales

PACEY Cymru have looked at the responses from those who are currently supporting the delivery of the Childcare Offer for Wales pilot.  As the number of responses from providers is low some of the key findings have been shared below rather than the publication of a full report.

16% of those who responded to the Building Blocks survey for Wales are currently delivering Childcare Offer hours.

Of these responses

  • 78% agree that the hourly rate of £4.50 paid for delivery of the Childcare Offer is reasonable.
  • 64% agree that they have not had any trouble in meeting the local authorities requirements for delivery of the Childcare Offer and that the local authority administration process is user friendly.
  • 33% charge parents for meals and 28% for snacks in line with their normal charging structure.

We would like to say a big thank you to all our members and survey respondents. The detail and information you give PACEY helps us to continue to understand and shape the sector.

The winners of the prize draw - one of five £50 shopping vouchers - were Susanne Rice, Nicola Redman, Rebecca MConnachie, Joanne Cottrel and Lucy Davies - Congratulations!