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Southend's Children and Families Information PointSHIP Adults
   
Choosing the right childcare for you and your child can be a confusing time. There are many different types of childcare offering both Full Day Care and Sessional Care within a setting or a home environment. You may also wish to consider childcare from the child's perspective - click here for a useful PDF

Ofsted

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people of all ages, this includes Childcare providers.

They carry out inspections and regulatory visits throughout England and publish the results online. Links to providers Ofsted reports and outcomes are visible on most records. If not they can be searched for on the Ofsted Website - click here

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What is the EYFS?

All registered Childcare, including Childminders, must adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). It sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. 

Read more on GOV.UK...


Early Years Childcare Settings

Nurseries typically offer Full  Day Care and usually accept children from around the age of  3 months to 5 years. Many Nurseries now offer morning and afternoon sessional care.   

FIS Factsheet: Day Nurseries - Click here

Search Nurseries on SHIP - Click here  

Pre-schools typically offer Sessional Care and usually take children from the age of around 2 to 5 years old. Their care for children normally lasts around 3-4 hours in the morning or the afternoon or possibly both.

FIS Factsheet: Pre-schools and School Nursery Classes - Click here

Search Pre-Schools on SHIP - Click here

Nursery Classes attached to Schools act like pre-schools offering sessional care, either morning or afternoon, during term time only. They take children from 3 years-old. School nursery classes are subject to the same regulations as the school to which they are attached and do not require a their own Ofsted Inspection. Please notes that if your child attends a nursery class attached to a school this does not guarantee them a place within the school and you will need to go through the schools standard application process.

Search Nursery Classes attached to Schools - Click here


Home Environments - Childminders

Childminders can offer flexible childcare in their own home. They can normally look after a maximum of 6 children under 5 years old at any one time. Childminders are Ofsted registered.

FIS Factsheet: Childminders - Click here

Search all Childminders on SHIP - Click here

Southend Childminder Network These childminders are part of a quality improvement scheme which supports them to develop their practice and offer high quality care to children and families. They commit to continual professional development and training to further enhance their skills and knowledge. Network childminders are regularly monitored by the Development Workers. These were previously identified as the NCMA Quality Assured Childminders.

Search Southend Network Childminders on SHIP - Click here

Network Plus childminders are those who have undergone further assessment and monitoring to demonstrate their enhanced level of quality provision. They hold or are working towards a minimum of Level 3 in Childcare. Childminders who offer funded early years education places for 3 and 4 year olds and disadvantaged 2 year olds are expected to be part of the Network Plus scheme. These were previously labelled as Accredited Childminders.

Search Network Plus Childminders on SHIP - Click here

Marvellous Minders

Marvellous Minders is a service that provides support to parents with children who have specific complex needs.  The scheme is aimed at finding a suitable Childminder to allow parents and carers to have short breaks while their child receives high quality care while working closely with the Children with Disabilities Team. 

View the Marvellous Minders Factsheet - Click here

Search Marvellous Minders on SHIP - Click here


Home Environments - Other

Nannies, Au Pairs and Babysitters provide childcare in the child's own home. They are often a suitable childcare option for parents and carers whose working hours make locating other forms of childcare difficult. Employing a nanny is an important responsibility. There are no legal requirements on a person applying to work as a nanny. It is the responsibility of the parent as employer to make sure that the person who is being employed will look after their children well. 

Nannies do not have to be Ofsted registered but they are able to register on Ofsted's Voluntary Register and this could enable parents and carers to claim the childcare element of Working Tax Credits.

Friends and relatives often provide childcare. If a friend is caring for your child in the child's home then they do not need to be registered. If a friend cares for your child in their own home in return for payment then they may need to be registered, Ofsted will be able to advise accordingly. Relatives do not need to be registered at all. Childcare by friends or relatives means that you will be unable to claim any help towards the cost of childcare through tax credits unless they happen to be a registered childcare provider and also cares for children that are not relatives. 


Out of School Care

Even if a child attends school childcare may still be required for early mornings, after school or during the school holiday.

FIS Factsheet: Out-of-School Care - Click here

Breakfast and After School Clubs provide out of school care and if not located on a school site can often provide a drop-off and collection of children to the school. Childminders can also offer school drop-off and collections.

Holiday Playschemes and Clubs provide temporary care for children during the school holidays. Playschemes that look after children under 8 years old will ofsten be Ofsted registered and are often in Nursery settings. Holiday clubs for over 8 year olds do not need to be Ofsted registered.

Read more about Holiday Clubs and Activities - Click here

Search Out-of-School Care on SHIP - Click here


Childcare for Children with Additional Needs

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Many younger children with additional needs through a disability or long term illness enjoy high quality mainstream childcare in settings in Southend-on-Sea. 

Read more about Childcare for Children with Additional Needs...

You may also be interested in viewing our SEND Local Offer information - Click here

PAGE UPDATED MARCH 2016