Choosing childcare is a big step for you and your family and can be a daunting process. When you are considering which type of childcare is suitable, you firstly will need to think about whether you require:
- full time or part time childcare,
- childcare all the year round, out of school hours only, or just occasionally
- childcare to be near your home or near your work.
- home based or setting based
There are several different types of childcare that are available for your child. These include:
- Sessional care or playgroups – care for children for up to four hours a day, usually up to five days per week. Some playgroups are open school term time only and are locally based and managed whereas others operate all year round. They often offer a wraparound and/or a collection service from local primary schools. Typically, the age of the children using this provision will be two to four years old.
- Day nurseries or full day care – generally care for children from birth upwards and typically operate from early mornings to late evenings, five to seven days per week, all year round. Opening hours can vary. Many offer a collection service to and from local schools.
- Out of School care – this can be a breakfast club, an after-school club, or school holiday care. The club may be based in your child’s school, another local school or other premises and may be used to extend a child’s school day. The children tend to be aged 3 to 12 years old and the setting may provide a collection service.
- Childminder – a registered childminder is a self-employed person providing care and learning opportunities for one or more children throughout the year, within their own home. The age of the child can be from birth upwards and some operate with the help of an assistant. Hours may vary and may include early mornings through to late evenings and even weekends.
- Crèche – these facilities provide a time-limited childcare option for mainly parents/carers of young children attending education courses or other training. They can also provide parents/carers with the opportunity to take part in social or recreational activities. Crèche facilities can operate in a range of settings e.g. education centre, shopping centre or leisure centre. The opening hours of the crèche may be flexible to meet the changing needs of parents/carers.
- Nannies – provide childcare for one of more children in the parent’s own home. They can sometimes live with the family and can be full time, part time or for after school hours.
- Wraparound care – this is a service that some childcare providers including playgroups, day nurseries and childminders provide outside of normal school or nursery hours, to extend a child’s day in education and childcare. A typical example is a playgroup providing a lunch time and afternoon session for children attending a school nursery during the morning. This type of care often involves collection from local schools and is usually for children aged three and above.
Our Search for Childcare facility is a directory of Early Years Wales members. Simply enter your postcode to find childcare within your local authority