Childcare and early years education choices

There are different types of childcare options available and what you decide on will depend on your needs as a family.  When choosing childcare for your child have a look at all options and find the ones that will best suit your child.  If your child has a special educational need and disability (SEND) you can read how your child can be supported by reading the send local offer channel of this website.  

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Registered childminders  

A registered childminder will care for your child in their own home.  They care for a small number of children and will often offer care for a wide range of ages.  They have clear ratios for how many children they can care for at various ages.  Childminders can take your child on outings such as to the park, library and local attractions.  They are often able to be flexible with their working hours.   

All registered childminders are regulated and inspected by Ofsted and must follow the early years foundation standards.  These are standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5.  Childminders will also have a DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring service.  Childminders are supported by the council’s Early Years Team and they can contact the team for advice and support if your child has special educational needs.  

Some childminders can offer free childcare for 2, 3, and 4 year-olds.    

Find registered childminders in our local directory.      

Nannies   

A nanny will be employed by you to care for your child in your home.  

They can take care of all aspects of looking after your child including organising their clothes, possessions and cooking their meals.    

They are often able to be flexible with their working hours and can take your child on outings.  

Nannies do not need to be registered and inspected, although they may choose to join the voluntary part of the Ofsted childcare register.  Unless they are registered on the voluntary part of the childcare register there is no legal requirement for nannies to have specific childcare training or to have a disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service.   

Search for nannies or agencies that have registered in our directory.       

Day nurseries   

Day nurseries look after and educate children from 3 months to 5 years of age.  Settings vary in size and will often be split into separate rooms for different aged children.   

They are regulated and inspected by Ofsted and staff will have a DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring service.   

Most day nurseries are privately run.  Opening hours vary but are typically 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday all year round. They can offer the option of half and full days.    

They can offer free childcare for 2-3 and 4-year-olds and help you to find out if you qualify for support with childcare costs.  

All day nurseries in South Gloucestershire are supported by the council’s Early Years Team.  

Some nurseries may organise to take your child out on outings such as to the park or library.   

Find day nurseries registered in the local directory.      

Nursery classes   

Nursery classes are attached to primary schools. They are:

As they are part of a school they are regulated and inspected by Ofsted.   

They can offer free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds - find out if you qualify for and support with childcare costs.  You need to contact the schools directly for details of the sessions available and the admission arrangements.    

Nursery classes for children with special educational needs and disabilities 

South Gloucestershire  have two Special Schools, New Siblands & Warmley Park that have nursery classes available for children with disabilities however a place is agreed through the EHCP needs assessment process and involvement of 0-25 Service. to access the nursery.

Pre-schools   

Pre-schools look after and educate children aged between 2 and 5.  Opening hours vary but tend to be during school hours and term time.  They are more likely to operate in community venues such as church or village halls.  

They are regulated and inspected by Ofsted and staff will have a DBS check from the Disclosure and Barring service.   

All pre-school settings are supported by the council’s Early Years Service.  

Most pre-schools can offer free childcare for 2, 3, and 4-year olds.  Find out if you qualify for and support with childcare costs.  

Find pre-schools registered in the directory.    

Further information 

You can find more information about the types of childcare and early years settings that are available on the professional association for childcare and early years (PACEY) website 

You can find information on the following :

 

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