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There’s a huge amount of choice out there, from nursery schools to playgroups to childminders, all offering benefits for your children and reassurance and flexibility for you. You need to think about which sort of childcare offers what you need.
Childminders look after your child and other children, usually in the childminder’s home. They can often be flexible about the sessions and times they offer. They are usually open year round and some even provide weekend and overnight care.
Specialist Childminders in Early Learning are experienced in caring for young children and have received further training. They can offer the Early Years Entitlement of 15 hours free early education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, and the 2gether scheme.
Nannies and home childcarers are self employed or employed by you to provide care for children, usually in the child’s home. They will often fit in with non-typical working hours. They can register on the Ofsted voluntary register. Infomation on nanny agencies, au pair agencies, baby sitting agencies and mobile creches can be found on the Devon Family Information Directory or at yell.com
Day nurseries provide care and education for children between six weeks and five years old. Often open longer hours, maybe 8am - 6pm. Some also offer out of school care for five to eleven year olds.
Nursery schools and nursery classes in schools and academies provide early education and childcare for three to five year olds. Open during school hours, often offering full or half day sessions.
Pre-schools and playgroups provide care and offer early education for children between two and five years old.
Out of school clubs provide a safe place for your child to play, study and socialise. They’re usually based in schools and community halls, and will collect your child from school. They’re usually open from when school finishes to 6pm in term time only, though many provide a holiday scheme.
Holiday playschemes and clubs are based in schools, youth clubs and community halls, and provide activities for your child during the school holidays. They are usually open from 8am to 6pm during the summer break, and some also open over Easter and at half terms.
Breakfast clubs provide a safe place for children – plus a healthy meal – from 7.30am. If they’re not based at the school they will take your child to school in time for registration.
You may find it more convenient to use a combination of different types of childcare, particularly as your child gets older.
Use the Devon Family Information Directory to find the types of childcare you want in your area.
Although not childcare, you may be interested in searching for parent and toddler groups.