PARENTS and carers are being given the chance to help shape the future of childcare provision in Dorset.

Council bosses are calling on parents and carers of children up to 14, or 18 if they have special educational needs, to complete a short survey. 

A Dorset Council spokesperson said: “We want to hear from parents and carers that currently use childcare - whether that's from a childcare provider, after school or holiday club, a friend or relative.

"This will help to shape future development of childcare in the area to make it flexible, sustainable and responsive to the needs of the community. 

“We are particularly interested to hear the views from parents/carers of children with additional needs, including special educational needs or disability.

"We also want to hear from parents unable to find suitable childcare.

"Anyone who completes the survey will also be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win one of two £25 Amazon vouchers."

Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: "We have some fantastic nurseries and childminders in Dorset, but some parents are struggling to find a place that suits them.

"We want to find out on what we can do to improve services and make sure they are flexible, sustainable and cover the needs of the local community. 

“We need to understand what parents need and if Covid-19 has impacted on their circumstances and choices.

"The views and experiences from the people using local childcare services, or struggling to find a place, are essential.

"This will help us to shape appropriate childcare provision for families with young children in Dorset.”

The survey, which can be found at, closes on October 11, 2020.