Early years census 2018: guide

Guides for local authorities to help them prepare and submit 2018 early years census data.

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These documents are for the 2018 early years census. For the current census, visit our guide to submitting data for the early years census.

Applies to England



These guides are to help local authorities and early years providers, who receive direct government funding, prepare and return the 2018 early years census.

They include:

  • changes from the 2017 census
  • the scope of the 2018 census
  • the statutory basis of the census
  • important dates
  • a glossary of data items
  • detailed codesets
  • funding methodology

Local authorities should use the methodology and part-time equivalent (PTE) guide to help them correctly record children who stretch their funded entitlement on the early years census.

The technical specification and validation rules are also available.

Published 6 July 2017
Last updated 31 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. Updated the guide. The version history describes the updates.

  2. Added funding methodology and information on adjusting PTE places for providers funded for over 38 weeks.

  3. Updated the guide; the version history describes the updates. Added the data collection template.

  4. First published.