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.
COVID-19 Childcare advice, information and support
In response to the coronavirus outbreak registered childcare providers have been asked where possible to continue to provide care for a limited number of children. This includes children who are vulnerable, or whose parents are classed as keyworkers and critical to the COVID-19 response and therefore their children cannot be safely cared for at home. If you can keep your child safe at home, then please do so.
Vulnerable children include those who:
- are supported by social care
- have safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans or on child protection plans
- are looked after
- are young carers
- are disabled
- have an education, health and care (EHC) plan
The government has published guidance on closures of schools, childcare and other educational settings for parents and carers.
Childcare providers have been asked to keep their information on this website up to date. However, we cannot guarantee this so please contact providers for their most up to date information.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Including information on Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds