If you are struggling to find appropriate childcare, we have a Childcare Finder service. This means that one of our support staff will look at your requirements and use their extensive knowledge of childcare provision in your area to help you find the best options for you. This is a free, professional and impartial service to use – phone us on 0300 123 2224 or fill in our online form Finding the right type of childcare to suit you and your child is really important. You need to ask yourself What times will I need childcare? Where do I want childcare – near my workplace, near my home, near my place of study or near my child’s school? What sort of environment will be best for my child –in someone else’s home, in a shared building or in a purpose built building Types of childcare Registered childminders Day nurseries Pre-schools (playgroups) Foundation units and nursery classes Before and after school clubs Holiday clubs and play schemes Crèches Nannies If your child is old enough, ask their opinion. Make sure you visit first (taking your child with you). It is a good idea to visit more than one provider so you can compare. You will need to consider Is this a safe environment for your child to learn through play? Are there age appropriate activities? If the provision is registered, check the latest Ofsted inspection report Do the children look like they are enjoying their experience? Are the staff professionally trained and does the setting encourage their staff to update their skills? What are the costs, and are there additional services to pay for?