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Daycare trust

Daycare trust

Daycare Trust

S21 St George's Road
London
SE1 6ES

Tel: 020 7840 3350

info@daycaretrust.org.uk
www.daycaretrust.org.uk

CHOOSING A NURSERY
Nurseries are for children under five years old to learn, play and have fun in groups while their parents work or study or are busy elsewhere.

Most nurseries are registered with their local authority and inspected each year. They are usually open all day for most weeks in the year. Part-time places are often available.

Nurseries are run by a team of staff and activities should be planned to help children enjoy learning. At nursery children can enjoy making friends, playing outside, sharing meals and trying out new skills.

There are different types of nursery with different ways of operating so look around for one that suits you and your child.

 

Plus points

  • opportunities for children to learn and play with friends
  • usually geared to the needs of children with working parents
  • some nurseries offer free, part-time early education places for children aged three and four

 

What are the different types of nursery?

There are different types of nursery:

  • private nursery - geared for working parents and the type you are most likely to find in your area
  • local authority nursery - run by the local authority for children in the local community
  • community nursery - a non-profit nursery run for children in the local community
  • workplace nursery - some employers run childcare schemes for children of their employees

 

How do I know my child will be safe and secure?

First of all you know your child best - look for a nursery you feel will be suitable for your child. Help in making this decision is provided in factsheets 8 and 9.

Nurseries must be registered with their local authorities. This means checks are carried out to make sure the staff are suitable to look after children. At least half of the staff in a nursery must be trained.

A check on the nursery premises is carried out to make sure the building is safe and suitable for children. After the nursery is registered, every year an inspection is carried out to make sure the nursery is continuing to provide a safe and suitable service.

There should be a set number of staff at each nursery to work with the children.

You should find one member of staff for every eight children aged four or five, one member of staff for every four children aged three and one member of staff for every three children aged under three.

You can ask to see the nursery’s registration certificate and latest inspection report.

 

How many children will there be in a nursery?

Most nurseries provide places for between 26 and 40 children although some are smaller and others larger. Children are usually divided into much smaller groups based on their age.

 

What age range are the children in a nursery?

Nurseries are for children aged up to five. Some nurseries have places for babies and toddlers as well as for children aged three to five. And some nurseries are part of childcare schemes which also provide childcare for older children.

 

When are nurseries open?

Most nurseries open at about 8.30am and close at around 6pm. Some offer different hours for the children of people working shifts. Most nurseries are open all year round except for public holidays.

 

What about part-time childcare?

Many nurseries are happy to offer you part-time places. Often they organise these into morning and afternoon sessions.

 

How much does a nursery cost?

Nursery charges vary in different areas. Expect to pay between £80 and £180 per child per week.

 

How do I find a nursery?

Talk to your local Childcare Information Service to find out more about nurseries in your area.

 

CHOOSING A CHILDMINDER

Childminders look after children in the childminder’s own home. They are registered with their local authority and inspected every year.

Childminders can often be flexible about the hours that they work and they should provide your child with lots of care, fun and learning.

Childminders can make the most of local parks, playgrounds, toy libraries, drop-in groups and community centres. Often children have the chance to make good friends with the other children who go to their childminder.

Every childminder is different so look for someone who will suit your family.

 

Pluses

  • your child will be in a home environment
  • childminders can support families for years as children grow up
  • can be flexible hours

 

How do I know my child will be safe and secure?

First of all you know your child best - look for a childminder you feel will be suitable for your child. Help in making this decision is provided in factsheets 8 and 9.

Childminders must be registered before they begin to work with children. This means checks are carried out to make sure they are suitable to care for children. People living in the childminders’ household are also checked to make sure they have not carried out any offence against a child. A check on the childminder’s home is carried out as well to make sure it is safe and suitable for children.

After a childminder is registered, every year an inspection is carried out to make sure the childminder is continuing to provide a safe and suitable service.

You can ask to see a childminder’s registration certificate and latest inspection report. It is illegal for a childminder to look after children in exchange for money unless they are a close relative of the child.

 

How many children will there be with a childminder?

Childminders can care for up to six children aged under eight at any one time. Most childminders are registered for three children under five and three children under eight at any one time. They are limited to one or two babies at one time.

The childminder’s own children are taken into account and counted in these numbers.

Childminders who work with an assistant may look after larger groups of children.

 

What age range are the children with a childminder?

Children can go to a childminder from a few months old right through until they reach secondary school.

 

When are childminders open?

Childminders are self employed and so they decide on their working hours. Most childminders will provide you with childcare between the hours of 8am and 6pm. Some childminders will work early mornings, evenings and weekends as well. You will need to negotiate hours, terms and conditions with the childminder.

 

What about part-time childcare?

Many childminders are happy to provide families with part-time places for children. They often drop children off at school and pick them up. Childminders can also take your child to a playgroup or Pre-School as part of the routine.

 

How much does a childminder cost?

Childminders set their charges themselves. Charges vary in different areas. There is no national rate but most childminders will charge between £60 and £120 per child per week for full-time care.

 

How do I find a childminder?

Ask your local Childcare Information Service for advice about childminders in your area.