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What Types of Childcare are Available?

1. Childcare Providers 2. Types of Childcare Available 3. When Should You Look For Childcare?
4. Choosing Childcare 5. Help With Childcare Costs 6. Registered and Unregistered Childcare
7. Childcare outside Lincolnshire 8. Childcare for school age children

2. Types of Childcare

After School Club

After School Clubs are generally run by schools but can be run by external organisations, on or away from the school premises.  Some after school clubs are only available for children who attended the school, however some clubs are available to all children in the community, and have arrangements with schools for picking the children up.  Most are open until 6pm Monday to Friday and on average cost £7.23 per session.

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Breakfast Club

Breakfast clubs, like after school clubs, are generally run by schools, but again can by run by external organisations, on or away from the school premises.  Breakfast clubs offer a healthy breakfast before school starts and are generally open an hour before school starts.  The average cost per session is £3.58.

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Childminders are self-employed childcare professionals working in their own home. Childminders can care for children of any age and usually care for a maximum of six children under the age of 8 years, and are inspected and regulated by Ofsted.  Each Childminder may offer different opening times and many can be flexible to cater for your requirements by sometimes offering childcare into the evening or even overnight care.  Childminders usually drop off and collect from local schools, and many childminders can offer free childcare places for 2, 3, and 4 year olds.  Alternatively, they will take children to and from early years settings so they can access funded entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.  The average cost of a childminder in Lincolnshire is £3.62 per hour.

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Childminder - Agency

Agency Childminders are regulated in a different way to regular childminders, in that they sign up to an agency that is registered with Ofsted, but the individual childminders are not registered with Ofsted. A number of the individual childminders will be inspected by Ofsted to ensure that they are providing a good service.



A crèche provides occasional care for children under 8 for no more than two hours per day.  Some are in permanent premises to care for children whilst parents are doing other activities such as shopping or going to the gym, and some run on a temporary basis when a particular one-off event is happening.

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Day Nursery

Day nurseries provide full day care for children aged 0-5 years.  Each nursery will have separate rooms for the different age groups of children, which will contain age appropriate toys and equipment.  Day nurseries are registered and inspected by Ofsted.  Day nurseries offer free childcare places for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, and children can attend full days or part day sessions. Opening times may vary and the average cost in Lincolnshire is £4.63 per hour.

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Holiday Club

Holiday Clubs offer school age children a fun environment during the school holidays.  Generally, holiday clubs are run by schools on site, however they can also be run by external organisations, either on or away from school premises.  Holiday clubs offer flexible sessions of either full days or half days with an average cost of £17 per session.

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Home Childcarers

Home Childcarers look after children in the family home and can work around shift patterns and unusual hours.  Some home childcarers live in with the family and by arrangement, may pick up other tasks like cooking and cleaning.  It is not compulsory for Home Childcarers to register with Ofsted, however they can register on the Ofsted Voluntary Registry to allow families to take advantage of tax credits.

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Maintained Nursery Schools and Classes

Maintained Nursery Schools and Classes are usually attached to an infant, primary or academy school and offer free early education sessions.  Maintained Nursery Schools and Classes are inspected by Ofsted which are part of the school's inspections.  Usually the child(ren) start in the September after their third birthday, however some offer termly intakes.  Parents and Carers will need to apply to a primary school, however their child(ren)'s  attendance at the nursery does not guarantee a place at the primary.  Sessions offered can be full sessions or half day sessions, either morning, afternoon or two full days and one half day.  The average cost per hour is £4.40.

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Nurseries usually take children from 2½-3 years and are often more formal in the way they structure their sessions.  Nurseries provides a grounding for starting at school, offering more educational exercises, e.g. teaching letters, numbers, shapes and sometimes even early-stage reading.  Nurseries offer Early years Entitlement of 15 hours per week.  The average hourly cost is £4.33.

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Parent & Toddler Group

Parent and Toddler Groups are usually run by Volunteers and provide a great place to meet other parents with children of similar ages in your area.  They are open to mothers, fathers, carers and grandparents who attend with their child.  Parent and Toddler Groups offer great play opportunities in a stimulating environment where social and emotional development is encouraged, each group is different and offers different activities.  This is not a form of childcare so is not registered with Ofsted.  The cost is set by the people who run the group and prices differ.

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Pre-school Playgroups

Pre-school playgroups usually offer free childcare for 2 to 4 years on a session basis and will prepare your child for starting school.  Pre-school playgroups are inspected and regulated by Ofsted.  Sessions available vary from 2-3 hours long and some pre-schools offer extended hours.  The majority of pre-schools in Lincolnshire offer early years entitlement of 15 hours per week but sessions usually cost on average £4.03 per hour. 

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