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Rutland Information Service

Choosing the right kind of childcare for your family

As a parent or carer, you know what's best for your child.

The things you and your child do together at home are the most important step in giving them the best start in life.

Care from friends, grandparents and other relatives plays a vital role too.

Early education and childcare can also help your child to get the best start in life, so choosing the right kind of setting for your child is a big decision to make.

This part of the Local Offer is designed to help you make this choice - you can find information about what's on offer locally, help with childcare costs and other support services out there.

An introduction to childcare

Before starting school, children and families can use a wide range of early years services across the county, including:

  • Childminders
  • Playgroups
  • Pre-schools
  • Day Nurseries and Childcare Centres

There's a hugh amount of choice in Rutland, all offering benefits to your child and reassurance and flexibility to you.

You can be confident that your child will be happy and safe, learning and developing through play.

All childcare settings registered with Ofsted deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage, where play is a key way in which young children learn with enjoyment and challenge.

Through indoor and outdoor play, children learn, develop and keep healthy.

The Foundation Stage says that early years settings have to have arrangements in place to support children with special educational needs or disabilities.

If you think your child has a special educational need or disability, or are worried about their development, talk to your early years setting.


Childcare choices...

There a lots of different types of early learning and childcare, so you can find an arrangement that meets your needs.

There is no single type of childcare that best suits all families.  Many families use a mixture of early learning and childcare from nurseries, childminders, playgroups, friends and relatives.

Grandparents often play an important role in helping childcare arrangements fit together - for example by looking after children after nursery until their parents finish work.

In Rutland, we have the following types of childcare and early learning services availble for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities:

Nursery Schools: Open during school hours, usually 9.00am to 3.30pm, offering full or half-day sessions. Some offer out-of-school and holiday care.  Many offer 15 hours a week free early learning for three- and four-year-olds.

Nurseries and Childcare Centres: Offer Early Education and Childcare from early in the morning until early evening, usually throughout the year.

Pre Schools and Playgroups : Many offer sessional provision, with some offering full day care, during term time with a small number opening throughout the year, all offer 15 hours a week free early learning for three- and four-year-olds.

Childminders: Usually look after children in the childminder’s home. Most will work early mornings, evenings and weekends – and in the holiday.

Nannies: Come to your home, and will often fit in with non-typical working hours.

Before and After School Clubs: Offer a range of care times both before school and after school.

Holiday Childcare: Some settings also provide care during the holidays, individual arrangements to use free entitlement can be arranged – speak to the setting manager or room leader. 

Parent and Toddler Groups: Tend to be drop-in sessions for parents that have young children. These sessions will be run by other parents, by the voluntary sector or in Children’s Centres. They will not be registered with Ofsted, as they provide less than two hours worth of care in a day.

Private Nursery Schools - Are owned privately and can offer sessional or full day care to children aged two to five. Some schools can offer a particular educational approach, for example Montessori. They may operate only during term-time or could open all year. They could be registered with Ofsted.

Unregistered Childcare:  offer a range of activities for children. 

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