Childcare and Early Years

Questions to ask when considering childcare

Choosing the right carer for your child is important. When making your decision, it can help if you ask the following questions.

How many children are each member of staff responsible for?

Recommended ratios are 1 member of staff for every 3 children aged 0 to 2 years, 1 staff member for every 4 children aged 2 years, and 1 staff member for every 8 children aged 3 to 7 years.

What is the usual turnover of staff each year? What training does the staff have?

Most childcare providers employ staff with qualifications.

Other key questions include:

  • can you see where children play outside and where they sleep (if they need to)?
  • what security measures are there to ensure that the children are safe?
  • what will your child eat and drink during the day? Are special diets catered for?
  • What is the daily routine? Are there planned sessions as well as free-play time?
  • will your child stay with the same group of children? (This helps develop social skills and relationships with children of similar age)
  • how do they encourage good behaviour? How will you know what your child has been doing during the day?
  • what happens if your child becomes ill?

Finally, don't forget to ask about costs - if your child is aged 3 to 5 years, ask about Nursery Education Funding.  

Not happy with your childcare?

If you are not happy with the care that your child is receiving speak with your carer.

If you have a dispute with your childcare provider, the Childcare Development Team may be able to help.

If you are concerned about the standard of care offered by a registered childcare provider you can phone the Ofsted Complaints Line on 0300 123 4666.

For complaints against an unregistered carer, contact their agency and ask about their complaints procedure.

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