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What are my childcare options?

Types of early education and childcare provisions

There are a range of registered and non-registered childcare options in Thurrock

Registered Childcare:-

Childcare is registered and inspected by Ofsted. You can view any report via the Ofsted website.

Registered childcare falls under one of three registers:

  1. Early Years Register - This covers childcare for children up to the age of five until 31 August following their fifth birthday.
  2. Compulsory Ofsted Childcare Register - This covers childcare for children aged five to seven inclusive (unless exempt)
  3. Voluntary Ofsted Childcare Register - This covers childcare for children aged eight and over and care for children of any age that is activity based or provided in the child’s own home.

Unregistered Childcare:-

Unregistered childcare is provided by somebody that is not registered via a governing body (e.g. Ofsted), and whom is taking payment for caring for your child. This could be provided by a family member, babysitting in a child’s own home or childcare provided by a friend. Financial help is usually restricted to only those using registered childcare. Also non-payment childcare to a family member or friend is considered as unregistered childcare.

Types of childcare:

Childminding

A childminder is someone who cares for your child in their own home for children aged 0 to 15 years.

  • They may provide full day care, part time care, overnight care or out-of-school care.
  • some are registered for overnight care
  • may offer weekend, early morning and late evening care.
  • may have an assistant working with them, caring only for the maximum number of children the childminder is registered for. Assistants can be left for up to 2 hours maximum to mind the children with parental permission.
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • If registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register the children can play, learn and develop in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • may provide FREE early education entitlement places for 2,3 and 4 year olds.
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Day nursery

Day nurseries are for children aged 0 to 5 years-old are mainly located in purpose-built or refurbished buildings.

  • offer childcare all year round
  • typically open from 7am to 7pm
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register where the children can play, learn and develop in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • may provide FREE early education entitlement places for 2,3 and 4 year olds
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Pre-schools – previously known as playgroups – are for children aged 2 to 5 years-old. Generally located in church halls, community halls, guides and scouts huts, and similar premises

  • typically open from 9am to 3pm.
  • some may offer an optional lunch club at additional cost to link the am & pm sessions. Others may include the lunch period within the Free entitlement sessions.
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register where the children can play, learn and develop in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • may provide FREE early education entitlement places for 2,3 and 4 year olds
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

School Nursery Classes (nursery classes in maintained and independent schools)

School Nursery Classes are in primary schools are now able to offer 2 year old places subject to school governing approval. Not all schools have nursery classes.

  • provides care either in the morning, the afternoon or both, usually for 3 hours
  • sessions only run during term time
  • optional school uniform.
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register where the children can play, learn and develop in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • usually provide early education entitlement places
  • may provide FREE early education entitlement places for 2,3 and 4 year olds
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Breakfast club and after school clubs (also known as out of school clubs)

Breakfast and afterschool clubs provide sessional care for children in full time school.

  • breakfast and after school clubs offer extended learning, development and play activities.
  • may offer a school collection and drop-off services
  • after schools clubs run straight after the school day
  • typically open from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 7pm
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Holiday Club (also known as out of school clubs)

Holiday clubs offer extended learning, development and play activities to early years and school-aged children.

  • operate during the main school holidays
  • may be flexible on age groups
  • typically open from 7am to 7pm daily
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Home Childcarer (Ofsted registered)

Home childcarers care for children in their own home.

  • must ensure they meet Ofsted's registration welfare requirements
  • must have undertaken a paediatric first aid course.
  • required to be registered and inspected by Ofsted on the Voluntary Childcare Register
  • are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register where the children can play, learn and develop in line with The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework
  • may provide FREE early education entitlement places for 2,3 and 4 year olds
  • You may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Nanny/au pair (registered or non-registered childcare)

Nannies/au pairs look after children in their own homes.

  • they don't need to hold qualifications
  • do not need to be registered with Ofsted.
  • some are members of a professional association.
  • you will become their employer unless they are employed by an agency.
  • may care for children of up to two sets of parents completely or mainly in one or both sets of parents homes
  • may be registered and inspected by Ofsted on the Voluntary Childcare Register.
  • may be registered with a childcare agency
  • If registered with Ofsted on the Voluntary Childcare Register you may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Crèche

A safe, supervised play area for a group of children whose parents are occupied in an activity (e.g. education, leisure, shopping) on the same premises nearby.

  • The age range being cared for in a crèche provision may vary and can include babies and toddlers.
  • Generally runs for two hours or less

Activity or club-based childcare

Activity or club-based childcare provides a range of activities or club-based care such as sports or leisure activities.

  • does not need to be registered with Ofsted.
  • If registered with Ofsted on the Voluntary Childcare Register you may be able to get help paying for childcare from the government to pay for this type of childcare

Early Years Foundation Stage? What childcare provisions should follow this?

At a glance

All childcare providers except mother and toddler groups, nannies and short-term crèches have to be registered and inspected by Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education. The EYFS, therefore, applies to:

  • reception and nursery classes in maintained and independent schools
  • day nurseries
  • childminders
  • playgroups
  • after school and breakfast clubs
  • holiday clubs/playschemes
  • Sure Start Children’s Centres

In England a parent can ask a childcare provider for their Ofsted unique registration number (URN) and use this to check their registration on Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Inspection-reports.

To find out more, visit www.direct.gov.uk/eyfs

 

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