Finding a childcare provider

Table of Contents

Now that your child has been accepted for two year old funding you will need to make the first important step and decide which form of childcare is the right option for you and your child.

To support you with this we have compiled some information below to help you make an informed decision about the benefits of the different childcare providers.

Alternatively, for more information visit PACEY’S (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years) website for information on ‘types of childcare’.

Day nurseries

A day nursery cares for children from birth to five years old. They are usually open Monday to Friday 8am – 6.30pm.

Main benefits

  • Open all year round, usually closing only during the Christmas period.
  • Cater for a large age range of children.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to socialise and make friends.
  • Provide hot meals and snacks.
  • Are more geared for working parents.
  • Registered with Ofsted.
  • Usually have a large staffing team.
  • Staff have a range of qualifications in early years.

Pre-schools

Pre-schools care for children from two to five years and run term time only Monday to Friday.

Main benefits

  • You can meet local parents within your area.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to socialise and make friends with other local children.
  • Can provide morning or afternoon sessions. Some pre-schools can also offer a full day from 9am-3pm.
  • A good formal experience to prepare children for school.
  • Registered with Ofsted.
  • Staff have a range of qualifications in early years.

Childminders

Childminders are usually self-employed and work within their home offering childcare for a range of ages from birth to school-age children.

Main benefits

  • Offers flexible hours which may include weekends, early mornings or evenings.
  • Provides more of a home experience for your child.
  • Can cater for individual needs of children.
  • Registered with Ofsted.
  • All childminders have completed introductory training in childcare approved by the local authority.

Once you’ve decided which setting is right for you and your child, you will need to look at the ‘provider list for parents and carers’ to see which providers offer spaces for two year old funded children within your local area.

A top tip would be to look at the providers Ofsted report as they inspect and regulate services for children and report back on their findings. All providers approved to offer two year old funded spaces by the Royal Borough must have a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating. If you would like your child to attend a provider not included within the list, please contact us to discuss this further.

You could also ask other parents for their recommendations but don’t forget that everyone experiences things differently so if their child didn’t like attending, it doesn’t mean to say that yours won’t.

Contacting the provider

Now it’s time to contact the setting to find out whether they have any places or whether they have a waiting list. You could also arrange to look round the provision with your child.

Visiting the providers

When you visit the setting, don’t forget to take:

  • Your child’s acceptance letter.

To help you on your first visit we have compiled a list of questions and things to think about, to help you decide whether it is right for you and your child.

Top tips to think about when walking around the provision

  • Do they provide a warm welcome?
  • Do the staff interact well with the children?
  • Do the children seem happy and content?
  • Do they have a good selection of toys and activities?
  • Do they have their Ofsted certificate on display?

Top questions to ask on your visit

  • What days and hours could you offer?
  • Would I be expected to pay for any additional items?*
  • Do the hours include school holidays? If not, could I spread them over the year?
  • Can my child bring a packed lunch?
  • Do you offer a settling-in period? If so, how long for?
  • What is the ratio of staff to children?
  • How many children do you care for?
  • Do you operate a named ‘keyperson’ system?
  • Do I need to buy a uniform for my child?
  • Do you regularly update your staffs Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checks? (It is recommended that they do this every three years). DBS checks should be in place for all people working within the provision and is a way of employers checking they are allowed to work with children

*Providers may offer additional extras, but cannot insist you pay for them. They must give you the opportunity to decline them, or in the case of things such as lunches, offer you the opportunity to provide your own.

For a more detailed list of questions to ask please visit: Pacey website.

Two year old funding : Contact details

For further information, please contact us by:

Two Year Old Funding - Early Years - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1RF
Telephone: 01628 685959