...are freelance childcare professionals offering childcare in homes (yours or theirs) in return for payment. They MUST be registered. The age and number of children under 8 years (including their own) that they care for is set at registration. Parents and childminders negotiate the fees, the hours and the details of the day to day arrangements. Some childminders work together in groups to share support, resources and perhaps cover each other during illnesses and holidays. If using a childminder you have found through Daily Info's Services Offered or Jobs Wanted pages, do make sure that a) they are properly registered and b) that you have checked their references fully.
These offer childcare provision for children up to school age (although they may be registered for 0 - 8-year-olds) and vary according to provision. The basic types are:
Private Day Nurseries offer a year round service, places from the 0-5 years, (the full range in not always offered) and are usually in permanent premises. Full or part time daycare is on offer at a set rate, which may vary between nurseries but not usually within one. Opening hours may cater for the working parent.
Work Place Nurseries are childcare provisions provided by an employer or by a private concern hosted by an employer on or near the workplace. They can take children from 0-5 years and cover the ours of a working parent. These may be restricted to children of employees, some companies share this facility and some have a limited number of open spaces.
Local Authority Nurseries can be a purpose built Nursery School or a Nursery class attached to a first School, conforming to similar standards. They fall under the remit of the Education Department. They follow the term pattern of local schools. There are no charges, but tend to be heavily over-subscribed, it is vital to join their waiting list at the earliest opportunity, commonly when your child is 2 years old, although children are not usually offered a place until they are 3 or 4 years old.
...provide care and education for children aged 3-5 years on a seasonal basis during term time. They aim to provide learning experiences through structured play activities working to an early years curriculum. There is a high ratio of staff and helpers to children. Most staff have a qualification in early years education. Parental involvement is encouraged in all aspects of the pre-school. Many are community-based, run on a charitable basis by a Parent's Committee. Fees are set at a minimum and some assistance is available for those experiencing financial difficulties. Some schools may offer extended hours, Special Needs provision and provision for children under 3 years.
Afterschool and Holiday Care
Usually running outside of school hours in term time, in schools or community centres, for children aged 5-11 years. Times of opening and charges vary between schemes/clubs.
...offer childcare in the child's own home, either on a daily or live-in basis. Unlike all the previous types of childcare, there is no legal requirement to register Nannies with Social Services unless they are caring for children from three different families. Nannies and parents must negotiate salary, hours and days of work and other duties, with parents acting as employers. They are responsible for National Insurance contributions, tax, conditions of employment etc. Sharing a nanny between two families can be cost effective.
Once again, if employing via our Services Offered or Jobs Wanted pages, do make sure that you have checked your new employee's references fully.