Caring for children can be unpredictable at the best of times and there may be occasions when you need to arrange for your children to attend a childcare setting or activity based programme. There is a range of registered or approved quality childcare services available across the country providing safe, caring play and educational environments for your children and providing opportunities for you to use them to support your family's needs.
When might childcare be needed?
Parents/carers may be working, training, or may just need some time to themselves. However, emergencies crop up from time to time or parents might need a helping hand so there is a range of services to help. Childcare can broaden children's experiences by offering them a change in surroundings, the opportunity to play with different toys, games and activities, and socialise and interact with other children and adults.
What types of childcare are available?
There are many different types of childcare available: childminders, nurseries, pre-schools, out of school care (before and after school), holiday play schemes and creches. There are also other options if care is required in the family home such as 'approved' child carers, nannies or babysitters.
Is it just for the under 5s?
No! Services across the country cater for children aged 0 -14 years. You can be sure Ofsted registered childcare providers are trained and are sensitive to the needs of individual children including those experiencing difficulties.
How can I afford it?
Well, your Local Authority information service can point you in the direction of different ways to help pay for childcare, such as free nursery education for children aged three and four, help for lone parents, teenage parents, working parents or students. Information is available on schemes such as Working Tax Credit, Care2Learn, New Deal and childcare vouchers.
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