Why can’t I search for childcare and family services on Directgov any more?

The Family Information Directory is no longer available on Directgov. All local authorities should be able to provide information on registered childcare and family services in your local area.  Please contact your local authority for details. You can find your local authority on the Directgov local authority finder, using the link in the associated resources section on the right-hand side of this page.

 What was the Family Information Directory?

The Directory was an extensive online signposting system. It aggregated data from local authorities and national organisations in England and then published it on a range of websites to enable parents, families and those who work with them to search for information about childcare and family services.

 What has happened to the Family Information Directory?

The central Directory service, which underpinned the childcare and family searches on Directgov and other partner sites, closed on 31 March 2011. However, local authorities have their own local databases and are able to provide childcare and family services information to parents.

 I’m a childminder - how are parents going to find information on my services now that the Family Information Directory is not on Directgov?

Local authorities have their own local versions of the Directory and will be able to provide information to parents, as they do now. In addition, many parents already find information on local childcare and family services from friends and family and, as well as local authority directories, there are a number of other sources of information online.

 I’m a parent – where can I find information on childcare and family services?

Local authorities have their own local databases containing information on childcare and family services and will be able to provide information to you – please contact your local authority for details. You can find your local authority on the Directgov local authority finder.

Alternatively there are a number of other sources of information available online, for example registered childcare inspection reports on the Ofsted website.

 Was the Family Information Directory data available in the current format before the project began?

No, the data was not as comprehensive or as up-to-date prior to the introduction of the Directory. The Directory project led to changes in the way Ofsted and local authorities shared data and greatly improved on what was previously available. (Note that the process for sharing information between Ofsted and LAs is not affected by the removal of the central aggregator.)