Use the following advice to choose the right childcare for you.
Research the options
Contact the family information service (FIS) for a list of registered childcare in your area and get advice from friends and family. Shop around aim to visit at least two or three places to meet the carer and compare what’s on offer. Think about your child’s age and personality consider if they would need one-on-one attention or if they are quite independent? Ask to see the Ofsted inspection report it should be available in all childcare settings.
Consider combining care if you can’t get care at one place to suit all your needs, you could combine care with two settings, for example, if you needed care for five days a week and your child could only attend nursery for two of those days, perhaps you could get a childminder for the remaining days. Revisit preferred places don’t feel guilty about going back for a second or third look if you want.
Get it in writing once you have made a decision, your childcare provider will ask you to sign a contract/letter, outlining details such as costs, rules and hours. Read it carefully before signing and keep a copy for your reference. Read your contract carefully different providers have different admissions policies or retainer fees covering sickness, holidays and holiday periods. Check carefully to ensure you know what you are charged and not charged for.
Plan in advance even if you’re not ready for childcare, give yourself plenty of time to make your choice. Some childcare providers have waiting lists for places.
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