It can be challenging to make appropriate and reliable childcare, ensuring that your children are safe and supported. All child minders and carers must be registered with Ofsted who are the governing body of these providers and establishments. This is to ensure that national standards are met, Heath and Safety regulations are followed and that organisations are working towards the child’s development. These providers will need to make sure that they hold an up to date DBS check.
There are various different types of childcare options that are available. The four main types include;
- Nannies – who can provide a more well-rounded hands-on approach to childcare as they would be involved in each part of a child’s life.
- School Clubs – These can be before school with a breakfast club or after school where the school will plan activities for the children to get involved in.
- Baby Sitters – These usually care for children in their own homes and can be useful for anyone needing irregular or late evening child care.
- Day Care Centre – Provide childcare within a building, which can be attached to a school but is more likely to be independent. There will be drop off and pick up times like a school but these centres can usually provide care into the early evening.
- Child Minders – Care is usually provided either alongside their own children or as a mixed group with other children they are caring for. Having this mixed care can allow children to experience personal care in a social setting. Child minders will offer various times throughout the day and will usually cover the school holidays.
Once you have determined what type of childcare is right for you, you can use one of the following links help you locate childcare in your local area;
Financial Help: Childcare schemes and vouchers
Childcare can be expensive and there are some schemes that can help with these costs;
- Free childcare hours – All children, aged between three and four years old will be entitled to 570 hours of free childcare per year. It’s usually taken as 15 hours a week for 38 weeks of the year, but you can choose to take fewer hours over more weeks. Some two year olds may be eligible for the free 15 hours and some parents may be able to ascertain 30 hours’ free childcare if you are in receipt of certain benefits (https://www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator).
- Tax-free childcare – This scheme is available for children aged 11 or under or aged 17 and under if they have disabilities. The government will contribute 20% which equates to £2 for every £8 you add to the online account. Parents must be earning at least the national minimum wage for 16 hours a week and not be earning more than £100,000 to be eligible for this scheme.
- Tax Credits and Universal Credits – Working parents can get up to 80% of their costs back through the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, when the childcare used is registered or approved. Call the Tax Credits Hotline on 0845 300 3900 to find out what you can claim.
- Childcare support for students
- Under 20 in publicly funded education – Weekly payments from Care to Learn
- Over 20 and in further education – Discretionary Learner Support
- Full-time higher education – Weekly childcare grant
For more information about any of these schemes visit: https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs If you have any questions regarding childcare, Health Assured are here to help. You can contact us through your bespoke helpline number or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit our online portal, which includes 4-week programs, advice articles and webinars to help with your health and wellbeing: www.healthassuredeap.com