Early years census: technical specification

Technical specification and validation rules for local authorities and software suppliers preparing for the early years census 2023.

Applies to England



This is technical information about submitting data for the early years census 2023.

It is for:

  • suppliers of software for local authority management information systems (MIS)
  • users of local authority MIS software

It explains:

  • changes to the previous year’s census collection
  • what data local authorities should supply at establishment level and child level
  • how to structure the data in XML or CSV format
  • how to check the data against the validation rules

The validation rules are available in Excel and OpenDocument formats.

Read more about submitting data for the early years census.

Published 21 June 2022
Last updated 22 September 2022 + show all updates
  1. The 'Early years census 2023: validation rules' has been uploaded to the page. The changes in what is required are described in the version history.

  2. First published.