New system in the works to improve childcare locations
Database to capture more accurately the demand for places
A new system to more accurately gauge demand for childcare places is in the works, so that new childcare centres can be built where they are most needed.
It comes amid moves to meet growing demand for childcare services, which saw the Government pledge last year to add 20,000 more childcare places - or about 200 centres - by 2017.
This will provide enough places for one in two children here, up from one in three in 2013.
While a centre's waiting list can provide some indication of demand, it suffers from one key problem - duplication. This is because some parents put their children's names down for places at several childcare centres at the same time, even when the children may already be enrolled in one centre.