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Advice for parents looking for registered childcare in Knowsley

Options and advice about choosing quality childcare in Knowsley

Your Choices .....

Full day care nursery:
A day nursery provides care and education for children between the ages of six weeks and five years. They may also offer wrap-around places and may provide a pick up service from nearby schools. Opening times normally coincide with a standard working day.  You can send your child full or part-time.

You can find full daycare on a number of different sites such as Children’s Centres, Knowsley Primary Schools or private dwellings.

Pre-School or Playgroups:
Pre-school or playgroups provide care for children between two to five years. They offer sessions from two and half hours to four hours, during term time, either every day or on several days a week.

Sometimes referred to as out-of-school clubs, these services are based on school sites, nurseries or community centres. They provide childcare for four to 11 year olds between 8am - 6pm, 50 weeks of the year.  For older children, please contact the Early Years Childcare Information Service.

Registered childminders look after your child/children along with other children, usually in their own homes. Most are willing to work early mornings, evenings and weekends, as well as part time and some offer a pick up service from local schools.

Home Childcarers:
Home Childcarers enable parents to have their children cared for in their own home.  Home Childcarers do not have to register with Ofsted but may choose to register on the voluntary part of the Ofsted Childcare register.

For more information about all of these options contact the Knowsley Childcare Information Service.

We also have a Childcare Brokerage Service for parents with a disabled child: Full information about this service can be found here.

What should you look for...

A top priority for any parent is to know that their child is in safe hands.

You should ask to see their Ofsted Registration certificate and also the most recent Ofsted Inspection report. Their registration ensures that they meet the 14 National Standards, that all staff have DBS checks and all staff have undertaken relevant training.

You should ask questions such as:

  • What kind of activities do you plan?
  • How does the indoor and outdoor environment change to interest the children?
  • Can I see the outdoor play area?
  • Are there suitable sleeping arrangements?
  • How will we work together to make sure my child settles in well?Can I see how the security and signing in books work?
  • Do you provide my child with healthy food and drinks?
  • Are the adults who work here trained, enthusiastic and caring and taking part in children’s play?
  • Will my child’s key person share a daily record about my child’s routines and how will they tell me about my child’s progress and interests?

Benefits for your child

High quality childcare and early education gives your child a head start in primary school. Research shows that it improves their educational, emotional and social development.

The benefits of part time attendance are just as good as those for full time.

What will it cost?

Paying for childcare can take a big chunk out of your household income.  However, don’t rule out any options until you’ve worked out what financial help is available to you. Also take into account the benefits you may be able to claim. 

  • Tax Credits - call 0845 300 3900
  • Childcare Element of Working
  • Employer supported childcare
  • If you are in training, Care to Learn or New Deal may be able to assist - call 0845 600 2809
  • Look at Childcare Choices to see if you can get help with childcare costs

Knowsley Early Years Service provide childcare settings with business support and guidance, to assist providers when setting their fees.

What if you’re unhappy about certain aspects of childcare

Each type of childcare has its pros and cons, and you will need to work out what suits you and your family needs best, based on work hours, budgets, but you should always expect a quality provision.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of the care you should, in the first instance, speak to the Manager of the setting.  If you are not satisfied with the answers and actions, or have any other concerns, you should contact Ofsted on  0300 123 1231.

Finding childcare in your area...

Knowsley Early Years Childcare Information Service holds up to date information on vacancies across the borough. Telephone: 0800 085 2022 option 1

You can also call into your local Children’s Centre where staff will be available to obtain the information for you.


Looking for registered childcare in Knowsley leaflet