This guidance is issued under sections 22 (3), 23(3), 26(2) (b) and 27(7) of the
Childcare Act 2006 and section 118 (A) (2) (b) of the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998. As statutory guidance local authorities must have regard to it.
This means that local authorities must take account of the guidance, and if they
decide to depart from it, have clear and justifiable reasons for doing so.
This guidance is intended to assist local authorities discharge their duty to:

  • ensure sufficient childcare is available
  • undertake childcare sufficiency assessments; and
  • provide information, advice and assistance relating to childcare to parents, prospective parents and those with parental responsibility or care of a child.