For whatever reason, the decision to leave your child in the care of someone else, is a very difficult one.
Depending on your personal circumstances and the age of your child you may also be entitled to a certain amount of free childcare, details are below.
In Hammersmith and Fulham we have a range of different childcare options to suit different needs. These include the following services...
They provide home-based childcare which offers a home from home experience to children. Childminders provide the same learning experiences as group childcare providers but in a smaller environment and with less children. They are often able to provide flexible hours to meet the needs of working parents.
Childminders are perfect if your working day doesn’t fit the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday pattern or if you have children of different ages and you want them to be looked after together. You may also want your child to be cared for in a home environment by just one person.
Prior to their registration, Ofsted ensures that prospective childminders are suitable to look after children. They are required to complete pre-registration training course, complete health declaration and their suitability is checked during their registration visit.
A childminder will normally be able to look after up to six children under eight-years-old including their own, but only three of them aged under-five.
Nurseries are open all year round, except bank holidays and Christmas. However, some may close for staff training or holidays.
They provide full or part-time childcare in a setting, for children aged from three months up to five years. Some nurseries provide out of school care for older children.
Staff at day nurseries are trained to provide a stimulating environment that will help your child to thrive. They will help your child learn, using a curriculum specially designed for children under five.
Nursery will give your child an opportunity to play, learn and explore the world around them. On a daily basis children will do artwork, listen to stories, sing and dance to music, there is usually an outside space to get some fresh air and to run, jump, climb and let off steam.
Children will also be able to enjoy free play, where they can choose what they would like to do. Your child will also have plenty of opportunities to socialise with other children.
Pre-schools - provide part-time childcare for children from aged two to five (normally term-time only).
Usually organised by community or voluntary groups, often with the help of parents, they normally offer early education places. They give your child access to different toys, equipment and activities and ensure they mix with other children. Sessions last between two-and-a-half to four hours and take place either every day or several days a week, during term-time.
Out of school clubs - provide full or part-time childcare before and after school and during school holidays in a setting, for children of primary school age. Some clubs will cater for younger or older children.
Nannies - provide full or part-time childcare in the child’s own home, for children of all ages.
Crèches - provide childcare on an occasional basis in a setting, for children of all ages.
There is more information about childcare on the Information for Families directory.