Childcare

There is a fantastic range of childcare services available to suit everyone’s needs, whether it is full-time, part-time or occasional.

It is worth checking your local council’s website as it usually lists all available nurseries, childminders and schools in the area.

There are also many classes and activities for children including music, sports and art lessons. The FOCUS team will be happy to suggest some that are relevant to you and your child, contact us.

Let us decode for you the different options.

Maternity Nurse

A Maternity Nurse is someone who is qualified or experienced in dealing with newborns. The primary responsibilities of the maternity nurse are to care for the baby including feeding (if necessary), nappy changing, bathing, baby laundry, and organising all items related to the baby.  She will also assist you in breast-feeding and provide the emotional and physical support to start feeding in the best manner. They can be employed to work on a daily/nightly basis and on average are booked for 2-6 weeks following the birth. They are very useful for mums and dads with sleep deprivation. It is a good idea to identify a good one before the baby is born.

Nanny

A Nanny is a dedicated individual who is employed to have sole (when both parents are working/out of the house) or shared charge (with the at-home parent) of your children in your home. Many have nursery training or childcare qualifications, but this is not a legal requirement. Most nannies will be tasked with preparing meals, helping with light household work, taking the children to and from activities and assisting with homework. Many nannies have their own place of residence (and are called live-out nannies), but there are some nannies who live with the family (called live-in nannies). Wages and salaries vary according to location (Central London is more expensive than most counties), experience, number of children and responsibilities. Qualified nannies are the most expensive option.
Mother’s Helps are generally unqualified nannies working alongside a mother, rather than having sole charge of the children. Mother’s Helps may work well for parents who work from home or parents who work part-time and want housework and childcare combined.
There are also many classes and activities for children including music, sports and art lessons. The FOCUS team will be happy to suggest some that are relevant to you and your child.
It is worth checking your local council’s website as it usually lists all available nurseries, childminders and schools in the area.

Au Pairs

Au pairs generally have no formal training in caring for children but will assist with light housework, help in the kitchen and care for school age children. They are generally in the UK to learn the language and assimilate the culture. Most will have some hours off per day in order to attend English language lessons. They should also be available for babysitting one or two evenings per week. Au pairs earn board and lodging and a small amount of money each week in return for childcare and light housework. There are many ways to find a good au pair.  The agency route is usually the fastest but it can be expensive. Not going through an agency will save you money but it will usually take much more time. Local libraries, community centres, children’s stores, friends, schools and playgroups are good places for putting your ad. You must ask for several references to assure you are hiring someone reliable, professional, etc.

Registered Childminders

Registered Childminders are professional day carers who work in their own homes to provide care and education for other people’s children by creating a home away from home. All childminders are required by law to register with Ofsted. Police and Social Services record checks are carried out on the childminder and all persons over 16 living in the house. The childminder’s home is also checked for hygiene and safety.

Nursery schools

Day Nurseries care for children and babies from three or four months old up to school age. They offer long days and short holidays. They are usually more expensive than regular nurseries.
Nursery schools (or just nurseries) care for children from 2 – 2½ year-old up to school age. They usually have the same term dates as schools and sessions last from 3 to 6 hours per day.
Both Nurseries and Day Nurseries have to be registered with Ofsted who will make regular inspections to ensure that health and safety, number of trained staff members, class sizes and child to adult ratio regulations are being maintained.
Children over 3 years old are entitled to 15 hours of free early education for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday). Parents do not contribute towards this minimum entitlement but may be charged fees for any services or childcare that is additional to the free place.  The service is provided by a number of pre-schools (playgroups), private day nurseries and independent schools with nurseries, which are part of the Nursery Education Grant (NEG) scheme. You need to contact your local council to get a list of participating providers.

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Nurseries

  • L’Ecole des Petits

    Pre-Primary French English Bilingual School for children aged 3-6.

    London

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