Your Needs

Things to consider to ensure your child is safe and happy in an environment that also suits your family requirements

Location

Do you want your childcare to be close to your work or place of study or your home? How long will does it take you to get there? Think about your journey, as this will impact the hours of childcare that you need.
Who will drop your child off and pick them up the majority of the time? If you are sharing this responsibility, does the location suit everyone?

Times

  • What hours and days do you need childcare?

  • Will you be travelling in rush hour traffic, or around the end of the school day when traffic is likely to be heavier and journeys take longer? Don’t forget to factor in your journey times when you're working out when you need to drop off and pick up.

  • What happens if your work commitments differ occasionally?

  • Can your childcarer offer any flexibility to meet changing childcare needs?

Costs

You'll need to find out what the childcarer charges and work out how much this will cost you. Don't forget to check if there are any other additional costs to pay. This could include extra charges for things like milk, food, nappies or late collection and registration fees.

You could receive help to pay for childcare costs.

Starting school

Once your child reaches school age, your childcare needs can change considerably. You may still need childcare, but it will need to work around the school day.

If you already have a childminder, do they offer drop off and pick up services to your local school?

Does the school have a breakfast or after-school club attached? Do any other local childcare providers offer this service?

It's worth considering these factors before your child reaches school age so they can have consistency of care rather than having to chop and change

Give yourself time

Start your childcare search as early, as you can because popular settings are likely to have waiting lists.