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Choosing childcare

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Finding the right care for you and your child is really important.  Give yourself plenty of time to look in to different options available.  Then contact the Children and Families Information Service to discuss your requirements and find out about childcare providers in your area.

Is a self-employed person who provides care in their own home for other people's children under the age of 8.  Many offer flexible working hours, including out of school care and some work at weekends.  Childminders can offer free early years provision if they are registered to do so.

Offers care and education for children up to the age of 5.  Most are open 8am until 6pm and care is usually provided all year.  Some nurseries provide care for older children at breakfast and after school clubs.  They may offer care during school holidays and many offer free early years provision. 

Offers care for children from the age of 3 to 5 during school term time.  Some groups take on younger children.  The length of sessions can vary from 2 and a half to 4 hours and some offer full time childcare.  Most offer free early years provision.

Offers care for children after school.  Some also provide care before school and during the holidays.  Clubs are often based on school sites.  Off-site clubs may collect children from local schools, either using transport or a 'walking bus'.

Offers play, activities and outings for children during the school holidays.  Some will be open from 8am until 6pm and others will offer part-time hours. 

Provides care for children while their parents or carers are occupied nearby.  This care is offered in some colleges, supermarkets and leisure centres.

Someone aged 18 or over who cares for children of up to two families at any one time time, wholly or mainly at the home of one of the children.  A home childcarer can be self employed.

Someone you employ to care for your children in your home.  They can live with you or come to work daily.

Someone who comes to live with you from another country to help take care of your children and do light housework for 25 hours a week.  An au pair can live in the UK for up to 2 years.

Someone you employ to care for your child in your own home.  A parent's help will take your child to school in the morning, go back to your house to do some light housework, collect your child from school and look after them until you get home.

Will look after your children in your home for short periods of time.  Babysitters do not have to register with any agency because they are looking after your children in your own home.  There is no law in England to prevent anyone of any age babysitting but it is advisable to use someone over 16 who is mature enough to keep your children safe.

Provides a meeting place for adults while their children play together and take part in activities.  The groups provide an excellent support network.

To find childcare providers in your area or require any further information please contact us at:

childrens.information@cumbria.gov.uk

Brokerage Service

Have you been unable to find the childcare you need?  Our 'Brokerage Service' may be able to help.  We will contact providers on your behalf and do our best to help you find suitable childcare. 





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Your enquiry will be sent to:
childrens.information@cumbria.gov.uk