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Types of Childcare

Types of Childcare

A childminder is someone who cares for children in their own home.  They care for children between the ages of 0-8 years and offer full day care or childcare before and after schools and during school holidays.  Ofsted registered childminders can look after up to six children.

A nursery offers full or part time childcare and early education for children aged 0-5 years.  There are different types of day nurseries e.g. privately run, community, council or workplace.  They must all be registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted and have to comply with strict guidelines on staff/children ratios.

Pre-schools and Playgroups offer young children the chance to learn and play from the age of 2 to 5 years.  They usually offer three hours morning or afternoon sessions.

Breakfast and afterschool clubs generally provide care before and after school for children aged from 4 to 12 years.  The clubs are either offered by schools or by an external childcare provider based at a schools or local community.  Breakfast and afterschool clubs is only available to the children who attend that school.

Nursery classes are attached to primary schools and can take children from 3 years old but are only open during term-time.  They provide free early education places for 3-4 years old children for 15 hours per week.

Children's Centres help give your child the best start in life.  If you are expecting a baby or are a parent or carer with a child under five, you can attend a range of free universal sessions.  You can also access child and family health services, childcare and early year education advice as well as volunteering and training support.  Children Centers also provide one to one support for families with children under 11.

Holiday play schemes are open during the school holidays.  They can be run by the local authority, private or voluntary organisations.

A creche is a safe and supervised play area for children whose parents are occupied by another activity on the same premises, e.g. evening classes, gym sessions or shopping centers.  If a creche is open more than four hours a day and more than fourteen days a year it must be registered with Ofsted.

Nannies are employed by you to care for your children in your home.  They don’t have to be registered with Ofsted some choose to go on a voluntary register. 

Au Pairs are usually from abroad who live with a family and provide childcare while they learn English.  Their duties may include childcare and light housework in your home. 

Family members, particularly grandparents, can provide all or part of children’s care.  Sometime this is because parents want their child to be cared for by someone they know, but often it’s because of the cost of formal childcare.