Types of childcare
Childminders care for children in the childminder's home, providing learning and play opportunities through a wide range of planned and free activities. Some child minders will take children to and from school. Childminders are registered with Ofsted to mind children aged from six weeks up to eight years. They can also take older children.
Nurseries provide care and education for children from as young as six weeks up to five years, with some providing out of school care for school aged children up to eight years old.
Nursery schools and classes
Nursery schools and classes provide entitlement to Early Learning during term time only. Children can attend from the September after their third birthday.
Pre-school play groups
Pre-School Play Groups provide part-time care and education for children from two and a half to five years. Some will accept two year olds. Sessions vary from 2½ to 6 hours and are held mostly during term time only.
Out of school clubs
Out of school clubs offer supervised play and care for school children outside of normal school hours. They can either be after school only, before school only or before and after school. Clubs that are managed by the school are automatically registered under the school's registration. Other clubs must register with Ofsted to take children from four to eight years and generally take children up to 12 years.
Holiday Playschemes offer supervised play and care for school-aged children during the school holidays. These can be part time or full time and can run for a few days or for a few weeks during the summer holidays. Playschemes that run for more than fourteen days a year and offer places to children under 8 years old must be registered with Ofsted.