Child care

If you have children under 15, you may be eligible for up to 85% of your actual childcare costs throughout the whole year. Find out more.

Day nurseries

Day nurseries provide care and a space to play and learn in groups for children under 5, though some nurseries cater for slightly older children. Day nurseries are open all day but not evenings or weekends. OFSTED registration is compulsory and all nurseries must be registered with their local authority. They are inspected by OFSTED (the Office for Standards in Education) every three to four years.

Other kinds of child care

Child minders ‐ self‐employed child carers who are Ofsted registered. They will look after your child in their own home. Age restrictions and opening hours can vary and should be checked with the individual child minder.

Playgroups ‐ sessional play work, usually of about three hours duration, catering for children of ages 2 to 5. Again, Ofsted registration is compulsory.

Nursery classes/pre‐school ‐ sessional or all day care for pre‐school children. These facilities are usually open during school hours, but in term time only. Ofsted registration is compulsory.

Crèches ‐ occasional care for children under 8 years. Ofsted registration is compulsory.

Out of school clubs ‐ play and care for school age children before and/or after school hours. Ofsted registration is compulsory if catering for children under 8 years.

Babysitters ‐ care for your child in your own home. Flexible hours are usually available. Babysitters are not legally required to have qualifications, training, Criminal Records. Bureau checks or Ofsted registration. Parents or carers are responsible for checking all claimed registrations and references though there are some certificates available, such as the British Red Cross certificate.

For full information of other childcare options in your area, go to Childcare Link website listing all forms of local and national childcare.