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Looking for childcare?

Get advice and information here on finding childcare, the different types of childcare available, how to choose quality childcare, how to make sure your child is safe, how to get extra help accessing childcare and information on fiancial support and help with childcare costs.

Finding childcare

Sandwell Family Information Service (FIS) provide free, confidential and impartial advice and guidance on all aspects of childcare and hold the details about the full range of childcare providers including Childminders, day nurseries, nursery schools and pre school playgroups in your local area. 

We can let you know about the costs, Ofsted grades, opening hours, vacancies, and schools pick ups.

We can also help you find your local Children's Centre, parent and toddler groups, baby clinic's etc and give you information on the help available with childcare costs.

You can search for childcare or a local service in your area by visiting our online family services directory Askade, by calling us on 0121 569 4914 or email us on family_information@sandwell.gov.uk

Types of childcare

There is no single type of childcare that best suits every family. When your child is young they may have a mix of early learning and childcare from day nurseries, childminders, pre-school playgroups and friends and relatives. 

Then when your child starts school your childcare needs will change. If you are working or studying you may need to start early or finish late and you may need childcare in the school holidays. 

Childcare for your older child will be different to what it was when they were younger. Young people need a place to go where they can socialise with their friends, keep busy and be safe

Find out about all the different types of childcare available for 0 - 16 year olds below:

Registered childminders

Registered childminders look after children under 12 years sometimes older in the childminders own home.  They can offer full time, part time, before and after school, school holiday care, overnight care and emergency care.

Some Childminders also offer Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds 

Day nurseries

Day nurseries look after children up to the age of five years. They provide daycare and education for children in age related groups.

Some day nurseries offer Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.

Some day nurseries can also provide before and after school pick ups and school holiday care. 

Nursery schools

Nursery schools provide Free Early Learning and care for 3 and 4 year olds (nursery education). They are normally based at infant and primary schools.

Pre-school playgroups

Pre-school playgroups provide part time play and some of them offer Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.  Most sessions are 2.5 hours either in a morning or afternoon, 

Out of school care

Out of school care is care outside normal school hours these include breakfast clubs, after-school clubs and school holiday playschemes/clubs.

School holidays - Whats on in Sandwell? Find out here what playschemes, activites and events are running in your local area during the school holidays.

Nannies and home-based carers

Usually nannies and homebased carers will provide care for children in your home and can look after children of any age.

Creche

A creche provides occasional care for limited periods of time for children up to 8 years old. For example if you are attend a course or go the gym etc.

Choosing quality childcare

There are many different types of childcare settings and entrusting a stranger with your child is a big step. 

You will need to feel confident about the childcare setting you are using for your child so before you choose any type of childcare you should do some research.

Will my child be safe?

There are a range of safeguards in place to ensure that your child will be well looked after by people who are required to go through a range of checks. Includes information on Ofsted Inspection Reports, the Ofsted Registers and Disclosure and Barring Service Checks.

Extra help accessing childcare

Sometimes you may difficulty in finding the childcare option which is right for you. If you are having trouble finding a service to meet the needs of your family we can offer you one to one support through our Childcare Brokerage.

Financial support and help with childcare costs

Including information on Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds