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Looking for Childcare

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What types of childcare can I choose from?

The first thing to think about it is what type of childcare do you need.

You can choose from:

  • Private Day Nurseries
  • Childminders
  • Family Centres
  • Pre-Schools
  • School Nursery
  • Out of School Clubs
  • Holiday Clubs
How do I use the directory to find childcare?

To use the main childcare search, which includes all childcare types:

Step 1: Select the provider type

Step 2: Add your postcode

Step 3: Add how far you would travel in the range box

Step 4: Press Search

The search results will show a list of childcare settings and a map showing you where the settings are, results are sorted by name and distance from you. 

What next?
Click on the setting name and the box will expand so you can read the full record, which also includes a link to the settings' latest Ofsted record. 

The information on the records has been written by the childcare settings, so if you like what you read and are interested, contact the setting to talk through the times and days you need and arrange a visit.

Know what you are looking for?
Save time with one of our pre-filtered searches below
Childcare Checklist: Things to ask the Childcare setting
Take a look at the questions you should ask when visiting a childcare setting for the first time.

  • Are nappies and wipes included in the fee or do you provide your own?
  • Are meals included or paid as extra?
  • What kind of food and drinks do they provide?
  • What is the notice period when ending a contract?
  • What qualifications do the staff have?
  • How will they keep you up to date with your child’s progress?
  • How is good behaviour encouraged?
  • What activities will your child do?

It’s important that you read the settings policies and understand them, if you have any questions you should talk to the setting.

Arrange a visit to look around the building and outside play areas.

Settling in period

Ask about settling in visits. These are an agreed amount of time to help settle your child in the setting. It can help you and your child to feel confident and safe.

Read more

Take a look at the PACEY (Professional Association Childcare and Early Years) parent guide for more information about choosing a childcare setting.

Help with Childcare Costs

There is government help with childcare costs for both working and non-working families; 

  • Tax free childcare
  • 30 Hours free childcare
  • FREE childcare for eligible 2 year olds
  • Tax credits for childcare
  • Universal credit for childcare
  • Support while you study from Care to learn for if you are at school, sixth form, further or higher education

See what you are eligible for and how to apply here

What if I’m not happy with a childcare setting?

 Talk to the setting first about any concerns you may have.

Most of the time the setting and family can work through the concerns

If you and the setting cannot find a solution, you can register your complaint with Ofsted by clicking here
Looking for childcare, but can't find it

If you have looked for childcare but can't find any, Families Information Service may be able to help. 

Ring 0800 0345 340 


FAQ’S (Frequently Asked Questions)

Please keep visiting this section, we will keep adding to the FAQ's 

Sometimes settings can talk about things that you may not be sure of.

Below is an explanation of some of the terms or words that you may hear.

What is Ofsted?

Ofsted register and regulate childcare.

Click here to find out more information.

What are ratios?

All settings must work to staff ratios. This is the minimum number of adults needed when caring for children. The younger children are, the more adults are needed.

For example:

  • 1 adult to 3 children under the age of 2
  • 1 adult to 4 children aged 2
  • 1 adult to 8 children aged 8 and above

What hours can my child attend?

Depending on the type of childcare you choose, they will offer you times to suit you and your child's needs.

For example, some settings open early for breakfast club and stay open until late in the evening where as others will offer typical 9 - 5pm sessions.

Read more about the different types of childcare and what they typically offer here.  

What is a stretched offer?

Instead of taking your funded hours at 15 hours each week for 38 weeks, your child could, as an example, have 11 hours each week for 51 weeks of the year. This will all depend on the settings flexibility of delivering the funded education, not every setting is able to provide this.

What is a deposit?

A deposit is normally refunded when the parent decides their child will leave the nursery, or it can be used to pay the last months fees instead. In some cases the childcare setting use the deposit as part payment for the first instalment due when the child starts. (please discuss these fees direct with your setting to establish what the fee covers)

What is a retainer fee?

A retainer fee differs from a deposit as it allows a parent to reserve a place at a childcare setting for their child that could be offered to someone else. The retainer fee can be charged by the setting for the weeks that they are waiting for your child to start. (please discuss these fees direct with your setting to establish what the fee covers)

My child is accessing a funded place, but I've received a bill for food, nappies and snacks what do I do?

Talk to your setting. The funding covers the cost of early education. Some settings do charge extra for things like food, snacks, nappies and sun-cream so you should always check your contract before taking up your place; However, your childcare setting should let you bring a packed lunch, or your own snacks, nappies etc as an alternative. Paying the extra costs cannot be a condition of your funded place. 

What is a notice period?

When your child starts a childcare setting you will sign a contract. In the contract there should be section about notice periods. This is usually the amount of notice you need to give if you want to change settings. You should not start a new setting before the end of your notice period because you may have to pay for both settings. 

Childcare phrases - What does that mean?

Sometimes you may hear or read some of the phrases listed below, we have added a brief explanation to what they mean:

Small World – Using figures, animals and small toys to encourage imaginative play for example Dolls House, Farmyard and Train set.

Curiosity Approach – Learning through awe and wonder and sparking curiosity in young minds such as using real items such as clocks, switches and other familiar fixtures and fittings.

Free Flow – Allows children  to use different spaces to suit their needs. Allowing them to move freely between indoor and outdoor play.

Practitioner – The specialist staff who support and nurture the social and educational development of babies and children from birth to five within the childcare setting.

EYFS – This is the  Early Years Foundation Stage.  For more information about this click here.  

Childcare Sufficiency in Barnsley

Every year the Local Authority produce an Annual Sufficiency Report, this tells us what childcare is available and if there are any gaps.

You can read the latest Childcare Sufficiency Assessment reports here .