Childcare

Childcare2018-07-26T15:39:37+00:00

Do you want to go back to work but are unsure about what childcare this is out there for you?

Why not have a look at the Wiltshire Council website for information on choosing a childcare provider and what funding there is to support you.

All children under the age of 8 needing childcare for more than two hours a day should be with a provider registered with Ofsted unless the care is provided by a close family member.

Before you enrol your child visit potential places with your child while other children are there. Think about the times you will need childcare, the costs, support you may get with the cost and what you can afford, the best location to avoid tiring journeys for yourself and your child and whether your child has dietary, physical, special, religious or cultural needs which need to be accommodated.

Remember you are looking for a warm welcome, a combination of care and education, enthusiastic adults, good resources and an approach that will meet the needs of your child.

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Nursery
Pre-School
Childminders
School nursery class
Independent school
Nannies
Wiltshire Childcare Directories
Funding Support
Care to Learn
Local Funding
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Nursery

  • Many nurseries care for babies
  • Some offer out of school clubs for school aged children
  • A 1:3, 1:4 and 1:8 adult to child ratio depending on the child’s age
  • Staff have, or are working towards, an early years qualification
  • May offer sessional care as well as full day care
  • Likely to be open all year
  • Free entitlement hours available for three and four year olds
  • Other support with costs may be available
  • Inspected by Ofsted
  • Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage for 0-5s

Pre-School

  • Children usually attend from two or two½ years of age
  • A 1:4 to 1:8 adult to child ratio
  • Staff have, or are working towards, an early years qualification
  • Usually term time only
  • Some offer lunch; some are open for school hours
  • Free entitlement hours available for three and four year olds
  • Other support with costs may be available
  • Inspected by Ofsted
  • Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage for 0-5s

Childminders

  • Can care for children of all ages
  • A maximum of six children at any one time, of these three can be under five and one can be under 12 months old
  • May have an early years qualification
  • Times arranged by agreement
  • Usually all year apart from childminder’s own holiday
  • Childminders may be registered to take the Free Entitlement, the childminder must have achieved an Ofsted inspection grade of ‘Requires Improvement’ or above for delivering the funding for three and four year old’s, and an Ofsted grade of ‘Good’ or above to deliver the two year old element
  • Can take and collect from pre-school or school
  • Other support with costs may be available
  • Inspected by Ofsted
  • Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage for 0-5s

School nursery class

  • Limited number in Wiltshire attached to schools
  • Admitted from September following the child’s third birthday1:13 adult to child ratio
  • All staff have an early years qualification
  • Up to five mornings or five afternoons per week – term time only
  • Free to parents
  • Inspected by Ofsted
  • Follow the Early Years Foundation Stage for 0-5s

Independent school

  • May be admitted from three years – check school policy
  • No set adult to child ratio
  • No legal regulations about staff qualifications
  • School hours and terms, usually shorter than state schools
  • Free entitlement hours available for three and four year olds in some schools
  • Fees charged

Nannies

  • Can care for children of all ages
  • No set adult:child ratio
  • May have an early years qualification
  • Available all year
  • Charges and terms negotiated between family and nanny or nanny agency
  • May be registered on the Ofsted Voluntary Childcare Register

Wiltshire childcare directories

To search for childcare in your area please visit our Childcare directory

To view the Wiltshire nanny agencies please click here.

To find out about choosing an out of school club visit here.

Funding support

There is a variety of child care support options currently available and it can be confusing to understand which is the best option for you and your family. To help with this the government has launched the Childcare Choices website to help show you what support you could get.

Find out more about Childcare Choices

Care to Learn

The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study – you must be aged under 20 at the start of your course.

The scheme is available for publicly-funded courses in England. This includes courses in:

  • schools
  • sixth-forms in schools
  • sixth-form colleges

You can get up to:

  • £160 per child per week if you live outside London
  • £175 per child per week if you live in London

What it covers

Care to Learn can help with the cost of:

  • your childcare, including deposit and registration fees
  • a childcare taster session for up to 5 days
  • keeping your childcare place over the summer holidays
  • taking your child to their childcare provider

Payments

Childcare payments go directly to your childcare provider.

Before they can be paid:

  • your childcare provider needs to confirm your child’s attendance
  • your school or college needs to confirm that you’re attending your course
  • Travel payments go direct to your school or college – they’ll either pay you or arrange travel for you.
Find out more about Care to Learn

Local funding

Since September 2014 the law changed to allow more two-year-olds to benefit from free childcare than ever before. In Wiltshire the funding is called ‘Better 2gether Funding’.

There is also support for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds – visit Wiltshire Council’s website for information.