Choosing a childcarer

Choosing childcare is a big step for you and your child and finding the right place can be a hard decision to make. The following tips can help you make your choice.

Draw up a shortlist of childcare providers

Think about what type of childcare provider will meet you and your child's needs.  Take into account the hours and days care is required, where the childcare setting is located and what your budget is.   

Research the childcare providers

Read the Ofsted reports, prospectus, references and any other literature that is available.  Also talk to other parents to get feedback on their experience with the childcare providers.

Visit the childcare providers

Always visit the prospective childcare providers as this will help you to see if the setting is right for you and your child.  It is a good idea to take your child with you to see how they respond to the setting and you should always go when other children are there so you can see how calm, happy and busy the children are.

Ask questions

Do not be afraid to ask the childcare provider questions as this will help you make your decision.  Suggested questions to ask a provider.

Make a decision

Only you can decide on which childcare provider is right for you and your child.   You should feel confident that you are leaving your child with a provider who offers a safe environment with good opportunities to learn and play.  Many childcare providers will enable you to stay with and watch your child at the setting for a short time during a trial visit. 

The chosen childcare provider should meet your specific needs and any fees that are required should be within your budget.  Only enter into a formal arrangement with a childcare provider if you are sure that it is right for you and your child and if you agree with the terms and conditions.

Further support

If you are having difficulty in finding childcare contact your nearest children's centre.

Related links

Types of childcare

Help paying for childcare

Search for childcare