Children of the 2020s Study

Privacy notice for participants in the Children of the 2020s: Early Education and Care survey

The survey and your personal data
The Children of the 2020s Early Education and Care study aims to understand more about early education experiences of children growing up in England today. We want to know more about what is important for high quality early education and childcare, and how these experiences affect children’s development and learning. The information we collect will help inform early education practice in England. It will also help the government understand how it can improve early education and childcare services for families in England, and help scientists understand more about children’s early development.

Children of the 2020s is being delivered by University College London (UCL) in partnership with Ipsos, on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE). This part of the study is being run by our partners in the Children of the 2020s study at the University of Oxford.

More information about the study can be found here:

This Privacy Notice explains who we are, the personal data we collect, how we use it, who we share it with, and what your legal rights are.

About Ipsos, University of Oxford, UCL and DfE

How do you give and withdraw your permission to take part in the Children of the 2020s study?
Children of the 2020s is a voluntary research study. You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide us with your personal data. You can decide whether to take part or continue to take part, or not, and you can change your mind at any time. You will always be provided with full information about what taking part involves at each stage of the study and how your data will be used. You can contact us using the details at the end of this privacy notice to withdraw from the study at any time if you wish to or to exercise your individual information rights. If you withdraw from the study as a whole, any data already collected will continue to be used unless you explicitly request that we delete it using the details at the end of this privacy notice. If you request that we delete any personal identifiable information (such as name and contact details), we will delete this and stop collecting data you provided us. If you also wish to have your anonymised survey data (your answers to the survey questions) deleted, please make this request within 6 months of taking part in the survey. After that date, we are not able to remove your anonymised data from the study.

What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
DfE is the data controller as it is the organisation that decides how and why your personal data are processed. UCL and Ipsos are data processors for this study. The legal basis for processing your data is ‘public task’ because the data you provide us is for research and is collected to help inform DfE policy development and service delivery in the future. Section 83(1)(a) of the Children Act 1989 grants the Secretary of State the power to ‘conduct, or assist other persons in conducting, research into any matter connected with his functions’ under various children’s legislation’. This legislation includes Children and Young Persons Act 2008 whose section 7 places a general duty of the Secretary of State to promote the well-being of children (persons under the age of 18) in England.

The relationship between DfE, UCL, Ipsos and the organisations that we share your data with, for example, the University of Oxford, is set out in the contracts between these organisations. These contracts are in place to ensure that your personal data is protected. Any personal data you provide us may only be used for this research study.

How has Ipsos got your personal details?
If you are a childcare provider and being contacted to take part in the Early Education and Care survey, the contact details of the provider you work for (provider name, address, phone number, and email address) were provided by consenting parents/guardians who have a child attending the provider to Ipsos for the purpose of getting in touch with you about the survey.

What personal data will Ipsos collect about you?
If you are a childcare provider and being contacted to take part in the Early Education and Care survey, the contact details of the provider you work for (provider name, address, phone number, and email address) were provided by consenting parents/guardians who have a child attending the provider to Ipsos for the purpose of getting in touch with you about the survey.

Why is your personal data being processed?
The table below outlines the different types of data we will be processing as part of this study and why.

Type of Data Why are we processing this?
Your contact details

As this is a longitudinal study, Ipsos collects your contact details (e.g. your telephone number or email address) from you to keep in touch with you and to invite you to take part in future pilot surveys and activities that relate to this research. Your contact details are shared securely with organisations that provide services to us (explained in the ‘who else will have access to your personal data?’ section). They are also shared with:

  • DfE, for the purposes of communicating with you about the study) and maintaining the study after the first funded phase is complete.
  • UCL, for the purpose of mailing survey-related communications to you.
Survey data

Ipsos, as the main data processor, collects the telephone survey responses from setting managers with their permission and that of a parent.

Pseudonymisation is a technique that replaces or removes information in a dataset that directly identifies you such as your name and address and is a security measure taken to reduce any risk of you being identified in our research data. Any analysis is done on grouped data and is not reported as individual answers.

Ipsos, the University of Oxford, UCL and the DfE will use your personal data and responses solely for research purposes and your personal details will be treated in strict confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation. However, like all professional organisations, we are required by law to notify relevant authorities if we believe a child or adult is at serious risk of harm. You, your provider and any staff members will not be identifiable in any published datasets or reports. We can assure you that any information you provide during this research will NOT be used for marketing, nor will we sell or pass on your information to any third party.

What about online cookies?
Children of the 2020s online surveys will collect some information through the use of 'cookies'. These are small files stored on your device. These files are used as sparingly as possible and only for quality control, validation and, more importantly, to prevent us from sending you reminders for an online survey you have already completed. It is possible for you to delete 'cookies' or to prevent their use by adjusting the browser settings on your device.

Ipsos also automatically capture information about your operating system, display settings and browser type to ensure that the survey questionnaire is delivered in a form suited to the software your device is using. Ipsos do not capture any other information from your computer.

Who else will have access to your personal data?
We will only share data that identifies you (name, contact details) with a few organisations that are helping us to run the Children of the 2020s Early Education and Care survey. We only share the minimum information needed for them to complete their work.

How will we ensure your personal information is secure?
We will keep your personal data and responses in strict confidence in accordance with this Privacy Notice.

We take our information security responsibilities seriously and apply various precautions to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft or misuse. Security precautions include appropriate physical security of offices and controlled and limited access to computer systems.
We have regular internal and external audits of our information security controls and working practices, and are accredited to the International Standard for Information Security, ISO 27001.

All of your personal data used and collected for this study will be stored securely in data centres and servers within the United Kingdom and will only be accessed by researchers and interviewers from Ipsos, UCL and DfE or their subcontractors who need to see it for the purpose of conducting the study. If you take part in a Microsoft Teams interview, the email address that you provide will be processed on Microsoft servers located in the EEA. Your survey responses will NOT be processed or stored on Microsoft servers.

How long will we keep your data for?
Ipsos and UCL will share the pseudonymised data collected with the DfE at the end of each survey through a secure transfer route for archival, statistical and historic research purposes. Your contact details will be stored separately from your survey responses. At the end of the study, Ipsos, the University of Oxford, and UCL will destroy their copy of the data in accordance with standards and procedures set out in ISO 27001. Destruction of data held by Ipsos, the University of Oxford, and UCL will take place within 12 months of the end of the contract between UCL and DfE (scheduled for April 2027) to allow time to consolidate the data and check for any errors. DfE will retain the data, including your contact details and identifiers such as video and audio recordings, indefinitely for the purposes of the Children of the 2020s longitudinal study. This will be subject to regular review.

Your rights

When you contact us to exercise your right, we will:

Contact us about this study and your personal data
You can get in touch with us about this study and how we are using your personal data using the details below. Please include “Children of the 2020s” in the subject line when contacting us.

For more information about how the DfE processes personal data, please see its Personal Information Charter: Personal information charter - Department for Education - GOV.UK (

Get in touch with the study team
If you would like any further details about the study, you can email us at or leave a voicemail message on 0800 056 8184 with your unique reference number (this can be found at the top of any letter you have received from us).

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This privacy notice is updated regularly and was last updated on 30.04.2024.