Childcare

Living in Europe | Day care, schooling & family related issues | United Kingdom

There are different types of childcare available in the UK, and which you choose will depend on many factors such as the child's age, the location of the childcare, and how long you require childcare for.

What types of childcare are available?

Childcare varies greatly in the UK ranging from full time nannies to occasional after school clubs and playgroups. You are able to use childcare flexibly to meet the needs of your family.

  • Nannies can look after children of any age in your home. You are also able to reduce costs by sharing a nanny with other families.
  • Day nurseries can generally provide care for children from birth to four or five, often integrated with early education.
  • Crèches are usually used by parents with children under eight years of age. A crèche will usually charge you on an hourly basis.
  • Toddler groups are informal groups of parents that meet locally with their children on a regular basis, usually including children who are under five. Usually free, but parents must be present.
  • Playgroups are usually not-for-profit and cheaper than day nurseries or crèches. Sessions are appropriate for children under five.
  • Out-of-school clubs offer children aged four to twelve a safe and stimulating environment in which they can play and learn outside school hours.

How can I find childcare in my area?

If you want to find a child-minder or search for suitable child care provides, you should contact your local Children’s Information Service.

How do I check the quality of childcare?

Whatever the type of care you choose for your child, you should ensure that it is has been approved. This can be checked depending on your location across the UK: