Childcare in Liverpool
Good quality childcare can benefit both parents and children. Some families use informal childcare, such as other family members, friends or neighbours however you may find you need to make more formal childcare arrangements. Some childcare settings provide specialist services for disabled children, however all childcare should welcome and include disabled children.
It is important that childcare is of good quality and meets certain standards. In England, childcare is registered with and regulated by OFSTED.
Types of childcare
- Childminders - offer full and part-time care, play and learning opportunities for children, usually in the child-minder's own home. Childminders are self-employed and may be flexible in the hours they work, offering early mornings, evenings and weekend care.
- Day nurseries - are primarily for children under 5 to play and learn in a group environment, offering full and part-time places. All children aged 3 and 4 years are entitled to a free nursery place, some 2 year olds can also access free nursery places.
- After school clubs and other out-of-school care - out-of-school clubs (sometimes called kids clubs) provide childcare and other activities for school-age children before and after the school day and during the school holidays. Often these are based on school sites, but they may also be in community centres, churches, nurseries or linked to a children's centre.
- Pre-schools - sometimes known as playgroups, offer part-time care and education for children usually between 2½ and 5 years. Sessions operate for around two hours but some are available for longer periods.
- Holiday playschemes - operate during the school holidays for school age children, to provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to play and have fun. Some offer part-time or full-time care.
Help with childcare costs
Many parents also say that childcare is too expensive. There may be help available to meet the costs, for example direct payments can be used to pay for childcare following an assessment. Help may also be available through the tax credit system.
Contact your health visitor or local children centre for further information or click on the link here https://www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs
Across Liverpool children's centres offer a range of services which aim to serve children and their families until primary school
Each centre offers integrated services (health, education, family support and childcare), outreach to parents, a base for childminders, and links with Jobcentre Plus and schools.
Choosing the right childcare service is important for you and your child. You need to be confident that your child is safe, secure and happy. You can contact Liverpool Childcare and Family Information Service for advice and support in finding childcare and any other childcare related queries on 0800 085 2022 and LCIS@liverpool.gov.uk
Your local health visitor and/or social worker may know of other suitable services. It is also worth asking other parents at support groups what childcare services they use.
Childcare and the law - things you need to know
All childcare providers are required by law to make reasonable adjustments to the way they provide a service, to ensure all children can access activities and facilities.
The law also says that:
- a provider can't treat disabled children less favorably than other children
- People can't be directly discriminated against or harassed because they have an association with a disabled person.