Childcare Options

see also:

What is registered childcare?

There are two types of childcare - registered and non-registered. Registered childcare is childcare that is registered and inspected by The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). The different types of registered childcare available are listed below with an approximate age range:

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How is registered childcare monitored for quality?

Ofsted monitors the quality of childcare and ensures the following:

  • A registered childcarer is inspected regularly with a maximum of three years between each inspection
  • A copy of an inspection report is available to view on the Ofsted website, see external links section for a link to their website. Alternatively you can ask the provider for a copy (please note for a childminder's individual report, you will need to obtain a copy from the childminder directly as we are unable to disclose the Ofsted Registration number for childminders)
  • All childcarers have an up to date Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check
  • That the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is followed and met. Further information on the EYFS can be found on the direct gov website see external links section for a link to their website.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of your childcare you can contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

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More about the different types of registered childcare

Nurseries

A nursery offers full or part time childcare and early education for children aged 0-5 years

  • If you live near a neighbouring borough make sure you get childcare lists from them as well. You can find details of other boroughs by visiting the direct gov website, see external links section
  • Did you know that most nurseries offer sibling discounts if you have two or more children at the same nursery.

Childminders

A childminder cares for your child in their own home and offers early education for your child. They care for children between the ages of 0-8 years and often pick up and drop off children at local schools. Ofsted registered childminders can look after up to six children.

  • You can mix different types of childcare - if your child is aged between three to five years old and going to a pre-school, playgroup or school nursery class you can employ a childminder to collect and look after your child until you get home.

Children's Centres

A Children's Centre brings together a range of services for children under five and their families such as family support, health and education. It includes good quality childcare, information and support across the local community.

  • Children's Centres in Haringey run activities and services for parents and children. For contact details and to find out more visit the Family Information Service Directory website and click on our What's On events directory, or call 020 8489 1000

Nursery Classes in schools

Children are usually admitted to nursery classes within schools during the school year in which they become four years old and sessions usually last for 3 hours per day and during term time only.

  • Nursery classes in schools are part of the state education system and are free. They offer full or part time places during term time for children who become four years old during that school year (1 September to 31 August)

Pre-schools and playgroups

Pre-schools and playgroups offer part-time early education and care for children between the ages of two and five years.

  • Most playgroups, pre-schools and nurseries are funded to provide 3 hours of free early education per day (or 15 hours per week).

Out of school childcare

Out of school childcare is usually for school aged children and runs before school, after school or during the school holidays. Visit our out of school childcare webpage for more information.

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Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities

Childcare providers must make 'reasonable adjustments' to include disabled children as a requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. For further information visit the Family Information Service Directory website and carry out a search for 'children with disabilities' or 'SEN' or call Haringey's Disabled Children's Team on 020 8489 3671.

Childcare Brokerage Service

If you have had problems finding suitable childcare and your child has special educational needs or a disability you can use our Childcare Brokerage Service.

Simply complete a referral form online see the main Childcare Brokerage Service page for more information or call 020 8489 1000

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Non registered childcare

Not all childcare has to be registered with Ofsted. There is a second group of people who can choose whether to join the voluntary part of the childcare register if they want to be registered.

This group includes:

  • People who care for children aged 8 years and over
  • Home based childcare - childcare in your home provided by nannies, au pairs, baby sitters, mothers' help/aid.
  • Other providers not currently required to register such as those who provide sports coaching, some after school clubs etc.

Provision where parents remain onsite or in close proximity to their children such as parent toddler groups or shoppers' crèche operating up to 4 hours each day.

One of the benefits of providers being registered is that it can reduce your childcare costs and enable you to apply for tax credits.

Important: You should check references of any child carer you employ. Agencies should provide this information for you, including an up to date Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

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Choosing quality childcare

This depends on the age and development of your child and what type and length of care is needed to fit in with your daily life. You should always seek information about all types of registered childcare available locally.

It takes time to find suitable care and you should be prepared to spend time settling your child with your chosen carer. Most childcare providers have waiting lists so it pays to think ahead. Women intending to return to work after the birth of a child should start considering their options even before the baby is born.

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Safety and standards

It is the responsibility of families to choose services carefully. Always check details with individual providers to ensure that their service meets your needs and the needs or your children. You are entitled to ask questions about any childcare provision and any good provider will welcome this. Think about asking the following questions around safety and standards

  • Do staff and volunteers have up to date CRB checks? Staff working with or having access to children, young people or vulnerable adults should be CRB checked.
  • Does the provision belong to a professional organisation or quality assurance scheme?
  • Does the provision have child protection and health and safety policies in place?
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Complaining about a childcare provider

Child protection

If your complaint is about child protection visit Ofsted website in the external links section below or telephone Ofsted on 0300 123 1231.

Other complaints

If your complaint is of a general nature such as disputes about contracts or fees contact The Head or Manager of the childcare provision. It is a good idea to put your complaint in writing.

You can ask your childcare provider for a copy of their complaints procedure which explains how your complaint will be dealt with.

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Further information

Family Information Service
225 High Road
Wood Green
N22 8HQ

Tel 020 8489 1000
Fax 020 8489 3760
Email childcare@haringey.gov.uk
Web Family Information Service Directory website

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The following links are not part of the Haringey Council website. Please read our legal disclaimer before using these links