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Childcare

Finding good, quality childcare can be a challenging task for parents and carers and it is important that you find what suits your family best.  If you know what you are looking for the 1 Big Database childcare search will help you identify a range of childcare choices, but be aware that not all childcare providers choose to advertise their services on the web.  So, if you can't find what you are looking for contact the Family Information Service (FIS) by phone, email or text and the information team will help you to find the right package of care for your child.

There are a number of different types of childcare you could use and FIS offers an impartial service and will research all the options for you to make an informed choice.

Registered childcare providers must demonstrate to Ofsted that their staff, premises and provision are all suitable to deliver childcare.  Their Ofsted reports can be found from this link.

How do I find out about the quality of the preschool, nursery or child minder that I’m thinking of using?

Early years providers, whether they are pre-schools, nurseries or child minders  are required to be registered with OfSTED. They are subject to regular inspections to check they are providing children with high quality care, play and learning experiences.  You can find out more about the quality of childcare provision by reading the provider’s latest Ofsted report. In addition, each childcare provider who is receiving Early Years Entitlement is evaluated against Bath and North East Somerset Council’s ‘Improving Quality and Outcomes in the Early Years Foundation Stage’ framework. This framework supports providers to be clear about their strengths and any areas for development, so they can make their provision the best it can be for the children who attend. Providers will be given varying degrees of support by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Early Years team according to the needs identified.  You can ask your provider which support category they are currently in and what their plans are for developing their quality further.  Of course every child is unique and you may also want to visit the provision to see whether you feel it would suit your child well.

We have also added some useful questions to ask childcare providers when you visit or contact them.

If you would like to know more about the sorts of childcare you could use, what they can offer or how the quality of their work is checked, have a look at the links below, or contact FIS to ask more.

Early Years

Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to reach their potential.  A child's experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances.  A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.  When parents choose to use Early Years childcare, they want to be sure that the provision they choose will keep their children safe and will help them to thrive.  The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the frame work that will provide that assurance.

All providers are required to use the EYFS to ensure that whatever setting parents choose, they can be confident that their child will receive a quality experience that supports their development through care, play and learning.

For more information visit http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/parents/

Play

Play is the first and most natural way that children learn about themselves and the world they live in.  Play experts agree that all children should have the opportunity to take risks when they are playing.  Bath & North East Somerset is committed to supporting play providers to offer exciting, challenging and inclusive play environments for our children to enjoy a range of experiences safely. For more information on play please follow this link.

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The Council’s Information Compliance Office can be contacted on (01225) 477000 or via email at information_governance@bathnes.gov.uk

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