Our use of cookies We use necessary cookies to make our site work. Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, website analytics and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our privacy policy.

To agree to our use of cookies, click the 'Accept' button.

Useful Tips for Choosing Childcare

Don't leave it until the last minute

When looking for childcare give yourself plenty of time to make your choice as some childcare providers may have a waiting list.

Research your options

For a list of local registered childcare in your area go to our Staffordshire Connects website

  • input postcode/ town and click search
  • on left side select: > Childcare and early education
  • the select > childcare
  • then select your type of childcare you want to review (i.e. childminder, nurseries).

Think about your child's age

Especially when it comes to babies and children under 2 who benefit from a closer one-to-one relationship. You know your child best, so keep in mind your own instinct.

Shop around

There's no harm in shopping around when it comes to childcare, after all they will be looking after your child. Aim to visit at least 2 or 3 places to meet the carer and compare what is on offer. Take along some prepared questions to ask.

Don't rule out combining care

If you can't get the type of care you need at one provision, you may need to think about using more the one childcare provider or more than one type. For example: nursery for 2 days and childminder for 3 days.

Check references

This is vital. Some carers might be happy to give you names of other parents to speak to about their work.

Get it in writing

Once a decision has been made, get it all in writing.  Many providers will have contracts outlining conditions etc. Read it carefully before you sign it.

*For funded places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, your provider legally needs to obtain your consent to claim on your behalf and share information with Staffordshire County Council by signing a Parent Declaration & Privacy Notice form. 

Your childcare checklist (not exclusive)

  • Visit the setting/ meet the staff - it is recommended to visit the provider and see the setting, its set up and how staff work. Take your child/ren with you on the visit.

  • Local Offer/ SEND / Discuss your requirements - speak to the provider about any needs that must be met for your child/ ren i.e. SENDs requirements / is there a designated SENCO, meeting Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.
    For more information go to our Local Offer
  • Information, hours, costs etc - is there a prospectus or information on their website?

  • Funded places for 2, 3 & 4 year olds - Parents who want to access funded places are advised to discuss with the provider how they supply funded places i.e. which hours are funded in a day / term time or stretched through the year. Is provider clear on additional charges for non-funded hours and consumables i.e. food, nappies etc? How to get your funded  place

  • Environment - is it secure? Is it non-smoking? Are there pets?

  • Diet - what's on the menu? Is there easy access to water for children? Will they cater for special requirements?

  • Emotional care - what are the routines? How is difficult behaviour dealt with?  is there a written policy?

  • Equipment - can they play outside? Is the play creative?

  • Health  - are the toilets and basins clean? What facilities are there for potty training and baby changing.

  • DBS checks - are the correct checks in place for staff (and over 16s in a childminder household) ?

  • Ofsted certificate and rating - all childcare providers registered with Ofsted, must legally present their registration certificate. Providers must also supply enquirers with the most recent Ofsted inspection rating and report if requested. This information can also be found on the ofsted website then go to: find inspection report. The highest and recommended ratings are Outstanding and Good.

  • Safeguarding and Welfare - what happens in the case of emergency? What are the safety procedures, is there a safeguarding policy in place?

There are no results that match your search criteria

Latest news

Residents to raise latest Walleys Quarry questions

Residents can put their latest questions to the agencies tackling the problems caused by Walleys Quarry at a virtual public meeting to be held on 3rd August.
29 July 2021

Top Tips for Riders at Young Bikers BBQ

Young bikers from across Staffordshire are being invited to a series of BBQs to help promote safer riding on the county's roads.
29 July 2021

Still places left for consultation event for proposed new library in Burton

Burton residents can still sign up for consultation events on proposals to relocate the town's library to the Market Hall – including an evening panel session at the Pirelli Stadium.
28 July 2021

Major county road project enters next phase as it nears completion

A multi-million-pound project to support Stafford's regeneration moves to its next phase next week as the whole scheme nears completion.
28 July 2021

Visit the Staffordshire Newsroom