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 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?
All registered Childcare, including Childminders, must adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). It sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.
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.
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.
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.
Home Environments - Childminders
Childminders can offer flexible childcare in their own home. They can normally look after a maximum of 6 children under 5 years old at any one time. Childminders are Ofsted registered.
Southend Childminder Network These childminders are part of a quality improvement scheme which supports them to develop their practice and offer high quality care to children and families. They commit to continual professional development and training to further enhance their skills and knowledge. Network childminders are regularly monitored by the Development Workers. These were previously identified as the NCMA Quality Assured Childminders.
Network Plus childminders are those who have undergone further assessment and monitoring to demonstrate their enhanced level of quality provision. They hold or are working towards a minimum of Level 3 in Childcare. Childminders who offer funded early years education places for 3 and 4 year olds and disadvantaged 2 year olds are expected to be part of the Network Plus scheme. These were previously labelled as Accredited Childminders.
Marvellous Minders is a service that provides support to parents with children who have specific complex needs. The scheme is aimed at finding a suitable Childminder to allow parents and carers to have short breaks while their child receives high quality care while working closely with the Children with Disabilities Team.
Home Environments - Other
Nannies, Au Pairs 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 unless they happen to be a registered childcare provider and also cares 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.
Childcare for Children with Additional Needs
Many younger children with additional needs through a disability or long term illness enjoy high quality mainstream childcare in settings in Southend-on-Sea.