Choosing the type of childcare that will suit your family is an important decision and will be based on what is available to you, your working pattern, your child’s needs and the cost. You can choose childcare that is registered or unregistered but only childcare that is registered can qualify for help with costs.
Childcare in England is registered and inspected by Ofsted, under the Early Years Register (EYR) for children up to the age of five.
When choosing childcare, it is worth considering the hours, the cost, the type of activities, the ratio of staff to children, availability of places, disciplinary policy and emergency procedure, as well as details of anything you may be required to supply. You might want to know what the food is like or the arrangements for picking your child up, in case you are late or have to send someone else.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references from other parents and what training and experience the staff have. Check what activities they organise, whether consider your child’s culture or home situation, and how you will be told about your child’s progress. Pay them a visit so you can observe activities and talk to the staff.