Section 201: Arrangements in respect of early childhood services
644.This section amends section 3 of the Childcare Act 2006. New subsection (4A) which it inserts makes explicit that, in determining what arrangements for integrated services to make under section 3(2), a local authority must have regard to the early childhood services which are provided, or are expected to be provided, in the local authority’s area, and the location of those services. Both the quantity and quality of the early childhood services is relevant. So where a local authority decides that it needs to establish a new children’s centre, it may determine that the children’s centre does not need to provide an early childhood service such as childcare, given the availability, quality and location of existing early childhood services. However, in such a case the children’s centre would still be required to provide advice and assistance on gaining access to local childcare provision, and directly provide other activities on site for young children.