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Choosing the right childcare

There are many different types of childcare available and you will want to choose a childcare provider that is best suited to your family's needs.

Many childcare providers have waiting lists so it is a good idea to plan ahead to ensure that there is a place available for your child. If possible, visit a range of different types of childcare (eg nursery, childminder) and childcare providers so that you can compare them. Try to make an appointment to visit at least once on a normal working day and take your child along to see how he/she reacts. Think about what you would like to know beforehand, and ask lots of questions.

Choosing childcare for your child is an important decision for any parent. As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your child is safe and happy in a child care environment that is fun, educational, and nurturing.

Spend as much time as you need, visiting a second or third time if you would like to, before making your final decision.

Ofsted inspections and reports

There are a number of different factors that determine whether or not a childcare provider is required to be registered with Ofsted. For example these can be; the service they provide, the age range of the children they care for and how long they are open for. A certificate of registration should be on display at the childcare setting when you visit.

Ofsted carries out inspections to check the quality of the care provided. They then produce inspection reports detailing their findings. You can use these reports to help you decide which providers to visit, to confirm what you found as a result of the visit, or as a result of a recommendation by someone else. Inspection reports give you information about what the inspector found on the day of the inspection.

All reports include grades on the quality of provision and things the childcare provider can do to improve. When you visit, you can check what the provider has done. It is also important to check the date of the last Ofsted inspection as it is possible that things may have changed.

More information on Ofsted registered childcare, including inspection reports can be found at Ofsted website - Find an inspection report