Childminders look after children in the childminder's own home. They can often be flexible about the hours they work and most will drop off or pick up children from local schools, pre-schools and nurseries. They can take your child to local parks, playgrounds, parent and toddler groups and libraries. View childminders advertising within the For Families Directory.
Childminders who look after children under 8 for a total of more than 2 hours per day and for any form of reward must by law be registered with Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills), who carry out regular checks on the home and childminder. Ofsted Inspection reports for childminders are available on the Ofsted website. You will need to search using the childminder’s Ofsted number, which we can provide or you can look at the childminder’s record in the For Families Directory.
Crèches provide short session childcare. They are often based in shopping centres, colleges or sports facilities so parents can attend an activity taking place on the same premises. Crèches are not required to register with Ofsted. View a list of crèches.
Day nurseries provide care and education for children under 5 years during the working day. View a list of Day Nurseries in the For Families Directory.
Day nurseries are:
- Usually open between 8am and 6pm
- Usually open all year round
- Available for full or part time places
Early years settings
All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday). Free Early Education places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery classes in maintained schools, maintained nursery schools, pre-school groups, private nursery schools, private nurseries, voluntary sector nurseries and independent schools.
Help paying for childcare
Visit the following websites for help and advice about paying for childcare: