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Livewell Southend

Types of Childcare

Choosing childcare for you and your child can be hard. 

There are many types of childcare. They could offer

  • Full Day Care
  • Sessional Care
  • within a setting
  • home environment.

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted Logo

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people of all ages, this includes Childcare providers.

They carry out inspections and regulatory visits throughout England and publish the results online. Links to providers Ofsted reports and outcomes are visible on most records. If not they can be searched for on the Ofsted Website - click here

What is the EYFS?

What is the EYFS?

The standards that school and childcare providers must meet for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5. All registered Childcare, including Childminders use the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) 

Read more on GOV.UK...

Early Years Childcare Settings

Nurseries typically offer Full  Day Care and usually accept children from around the age of  3 months to 5 years. Many Nurseries now offer morning and afternoon sessional care.   

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Pre-schools typically offer Sessional Care and usually take children from the age of around 2 to 5 years old. Their care for children normally lasts around 3-4 hours in the morning or the afternoon or possibly both.

Search Pre-Schools on Livewell Southend 

Nursery Classes attached to Schools act like pre-schools offering sessional care, either morning or afternoon, during term time only. They take children from 3 years-old. School nursery classes are subject to the same regulations as the school to which they are attached and do not require a their own Ofsted Inspection. Please notes that if your child attends a nursery class attached to a school this does not guarantee them a place within the school and you will need to go through the schools standard application process.

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Home Environments - Childminders

Childminders can offer flexible childcare in their own home. They can normally look after a maximum of 3 children under 5 years old at any one time. Childminders are Ofsted registered. Most childminders in Southend offer government funded childcare places. Childminders can also offer out of school wrap around and school holiday care. You can check what services each childminder offers on Livewell.

Search all Childminders on Livewell Southend 


Home Environments - Other

Nannies, Au Pairs, Home Childcarere and Babysitters provide childcare in the child's own home. They are often a suitable childcare option for parents and carers whose working hours make locating other forms of childcare difficult. Employing a nanny is an important responsibility. There are no legal requirements on a person applying to work as a nanny. It is the responsibility of the parent as employer to make sure that the person who is being employed will look after their children well. 

Nannies do not have to be Ofsted registered but they are able to register on Ofsted's Voluntary Register and this could enable parents and carers to claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credits.


Friends and relatives often provide childcare. If a friend is caring for your child in the child's home, then they do not need to be registered. If a friend cares for your child in their own home in return for payment, then they may need to be registered, Ofsted will be able to advise accordingly. Relatives do not need to be registered at all. Childcare by friends or relatives means that you will be unable to claim any help towards the cost of childcare through tax credits or tax-free childcare unless are a registered childcare provider and also care for children that are not relatives. 


Out of School Care

Even if a child attends school childcare may still be required for early mornings, after school or during the school holiday.

Breakfast and After School Clubs provide out of school care and if not located on a school site can often provide a drop-off and collection of children to the school. Childminders can also offer school drop-off and collections.

Holiday Playschemes and Clubs provide temporary care for children during the school holidays. Playschemes that look after children under 8 years old will ofsten be Ofsted registered and are often in Nursery settings. Holiday clubs for over 8 year olds do not need to be Ofsted registered.

Read more about Holiday Clubs and Activities 

Search Out-of-School Care on Livewell Southend 

Childcare for Children with Additional Needs

SEND Local Offer Logo

Many younger children with additional needs through a disability or long term illness enjoy high quality mainstream childcare in settings in Southend-on-Sea. 

Read more about Childcare for Children with Additional Needs...

You may also be interested in viewing our SEND Local Offer information - Click here

 Last updated: 17 Nov 2022

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