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Choosing childcare

Choosing childcare

Options

There are a range of options available in Hillingdon if you need childcare, depending on a child’s age. These include:

For children under five years old:

Day Nurseries - offer childcare for the whole day e.g. 8am to 6pm. They may also offer shorter sessions.

Nursery Units of Independent Schools - offer places for three and four year olds. They would normally be open term time only.

Pre-school Playgroups - offer places for two, three and four year olds. They would usually offer part-time childcare e.g. morning or afternoon sessions, approximately three hours per session. They would normally be open term time only.

Childminders - can care for children of any age under sixteen but would need to be registered with Ofsted to provide childcare for children aged under eight. They offer childcare in a home environment. They look after children in their own home which is assessed by Ofsted as being suitable for the provision of childcare.

For children aged over five years old:

Before and After School Clubs - these would be for children of school age. They would often be run by schools but there are also some that are run by after school club providers. They would run in term time.

Holiday playschemes - these would offer childcare in school holidays.

Childminders - can care for children of any age under sixteen but would need to be registered with Ofsted to provide childcare for children aged under eight. They offer childcare in a home environment. They look after children in their own home which is assessed by Ofsted as being suitable for the provision of childcare.

Finding a childcare setting

Questions to ask a childcare setting

Before agreeing to use a childcare setting, it is recommended that you visit the setting as well as looking at their Ofsted inspection report. All childcare settings should have an inspection report unless they have been registered recently. In addition to this, you may want to meet with the setting manager to ask about what the setting can provide.

A list of questions to ask when choosing childcare.

Choosing a childcare setting

Information about childcare setting in Hillingdon can be found on the directory by searching for childcare.

Help with the cost of childcare

Childcare Choices

The government have set up a website (www.childcarechoices.gov.uk) where you can find out about the funding schemes that exist that may be able to help with the costs of childcare, depending on a family’s circumstances.

Support services that are available

Childcare brokerage

For any parents struggling to find suitable childcare, there is a childcare brokerage service that can offer more assistance in looking for childcare. The expectation is that anyone who wants to use this service will only do so if they have already looked for childcare themselves and have been unable to find a place. To request this service, visit this webpage.

Other services

Children's centres in Hillingdon will also be able to help you to find childcare - http://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/childrenscentres.

Further information

Families' Information Service

For further information about childcare, please contact the Families’ Information Service by e-mailing fis@hillingdon.gov.uk.

Last reviewed: 07/092017

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