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Lincolnshire Family Services Directory (FSD) is the best place to search for Ofsted registered childcare in Lincolnshire. This is because the information on the site comes straight from Ofsted and is updated on a daily basis.  

You can also find what the differences are between different types of childcare provision below.

If you require any further support with finding childcare you can call 0800 195 1635  or email

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. Most are open until 6pm Monday to Friday

Breakfast Club

Breakfast clubs like After school 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.


Childminders are self-employed childcare professionals working in their own home. Childminders can 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. Many childminders can offer free childcare places for 2, 3, and 4 year old's.


A crèche provides occasional care for children under eight for no more than two hours per day. 

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 old's.

Holiday Club

Holiday Clubs offer school age children a fun environment for your child during the school holidays. Generally holiday clubs are run by schools on site, however, they can also be run by external organisations either on, ot away from school premises.

Home Childcarers

Home Childcarers look after children in the family home and can work around shift patterns and unusual hours. 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.  

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.  


Nurseries usually take children from 2.5-3 years and are often more formal in the way they structure their sessions. Nurseries provides a grounding for starting at school –  e.g. teaching letters, numbers, shapes and sometimes even early-stage reading. 

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. Parent and Toddler Groups offer great play opportunities in a stimulating environment where social and emotional development is encouraged.

Pre-school Playgroups

Pre-school playgroups offer free sessional childcare for 2 to 5 years and will prepare your child for starting school. Pre-school playgroups are inspected and regulated by Ofsted.

When should you start looking for childcare?

Start looking for childcare as soon as you know you may need a place for your child. Many parents begin before their child is born.

Finding a place for a child under two can sometimes be difficult, as child carers are usually limited to the numbers they are able to care for compared to older children.

Some childminders keep waiting lists for younger children due to demand and the limited registered places available.

Don’t forget – you are the expert about your child and you know them best. Always trust your own feelings and judgements.

There are lots of child carers listed on the Family Services Directory but if you need any further help finding a child carer near you, or whether you have any other questions, please call the Family Information Service on 0800 195 1635 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm or email 

Help with Childcare Costs

Paying for childcare can be expensive, but many parents and carers want or need to work.

Financial help is available to support you and care for your children depending on your situation.

Find out more   >

Looking For Childcare out of Lincolnshire

Looking for childcare out of Lincolnshire?

If you are looking for childcare in any other part of the country, including across the border in:

go to the Childcare and Family Services Finder from Family and Childcare Trust.

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