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Choosing childcare

Finding the right type of childcare to suit you and your child is crucial, especially when there is so much to consider. There will be different options available in every area, so give yourself plenty of time to research them. 

Types of registered childcare

  • Childminders look after your child and other children, usually in the childminder’s home.
  • Nannies and home childcarers are employed by you to provide care for children, usually in the child’s home. These types of carers can register on the Ofsted voluntary register.
  • Day nurseries provide care and education for children between six weeks and five years old. Some also offer out of school care for five to eleven year olds.
  • Nursery schools and classes provide early education and childcare for three to five year olds, some will take children from two years old.
  • Pre-schools and playgroups provide care and most offer early education for children between two and five years old.
  • Out of school activities are services which may be based on school sites, youth clubs, community centres or nurseries.

Some schools organise childcare, others work with local voluntary groups, private providers and childminders. You can choose a combination of breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and holiday play schemes which run outside of term time.

Next Page »Tips for choosing and arranging childcare