Finding childcare

Information about childcare options in your area, how to find the right provider, viewing Ofsted reports, making a complaint and the childcare sufficiency assessment.

How much does childcare cost?

Childcare providers set their own cost for childcare. It is best to speak with your chosen childcare provider to find out their cost details.

Eligible 2-year-olds may also be entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare per week during term time.

All 3 and 4-year-olds are eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare per week during term time.

Also, eligible 3 and 4-year-olds may be entitled to up to 30 hours of funded childcare per week during term time.

There may also be other help available with childcare costs.

What childcare options are available in my area?

Choosing the right childcare for any parent carer is very important as you want to know your child will be safe and happy. In the East Riding, there are various types of childcare settings including childminders, day nurseries, pre-schools, out of school clubs, and crèches. There are also nursery schools and many primary schools have a nursery class.

Please note: there is no guarantee your child will be able to attend the childcare setting of your first choice. If you have not been able to find a place with a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ childcare setting in your area which meets your needs or you want help with finding a childcare setting, please call the FISH team on (01482) 396469.

Search online

Find childcare providers in the FISH directory

Get in touch

Alternatively, call the Families' Information Service Hub (FISH) on (01482) 396469 to access information on childcare settings in an area of your choice and to find out contact details, costs, opening times and school collection information.

When should I start looking for a childcare place?

Many parents are lucky enough to find suitable childcare as soon as they need it but you may find it takes longer to find somewhere that can accommodate both your own and your child’s needs. Some childminders and childcare settings may have waiting lists so here are some things to think about before choosing your childcare.

  • Do you need childcare close to where you work or live?

  • Do you need childcare early in the mornings or in the evening?

  • Will you need a school drop off pick up for school-age children and additional childcare during school holidays?

Find childcare providers in the FISH directory

What do I need to consider when making my choice?

Here are some factors to consider while looking for the right childcare provider for your family:

Your child’s needs

You should consider your child’s needs while looking for a suitable childcare provider. You may want to visit a number of childcare providers to make sure they offer the right environment for your child. This allows you to see how they can meet your child’s needs and give you confidence in the decision you make. When visiting a setting these are some examples of questions you may want to ask:

  • Do you have a settling in period, if so how long?

  • Do I have to pay for meals/ activities/ nappies?

  • How will you keep me informed about my child’s progress?

  • Where can my child sleep or rest?

  • How will you keep me involved?

  • How do you manage children’s behaviour?

  • How will you accommodate my child’s dietary requirements?

  • What happens if my child is sick?

  • How would you contact me in an emergency?

  • Do you have any policies or procedures I should be aware of?

Personal requirements

If you have any personal requirements, such as opening hours during specific days, make sure you search for a childcare provider who offers services based on your exact needs.

Family finances

Covering the cost of childcare must be taken into account as it can be very expensive. There are a variety of ways you can get help with the cost of childcare.

Please note: if you hope to receive funded childcare for your 2 year old, you will need to find a childcare provider with a 'good' or 'outstanding' Ofsted rating.

Ofsted reports

An Ofsted report will tell you how a childcare provider meets the needs of the children who attend, and ensure that they are meeting the requirements for safety and learning and development.

Ofsted reports

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework - how it can help you understand the benefits of childcare:

All childminders and childcare settings who look after children in the early years age group follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS). You may be interested in looking at the framework to understand the benefits of childcare:

Early Years Foundation Stage Framework from April 2017 (313kb)

Can I view Ofsted reports for childcare providers?

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) are responsible for inspecting services that care for children and young people and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. An Ofsted inspection will look at how well the setting meets the needs of the range of children who attend and ensure that they are meeting the requirements for safety and learning and development

Please note: if you hope to receive funded childcare for your 2 year old, you will need to find a childcare provider with a 'good' or 'outstanding' Ofsted rating.

Ofsted website - find reports

Tip: you can search for reports by the provider name or ‘URN’ – it’s Unique Reference Number. If you’re unsure what the URN is for the provider you wish to search for, you can find the URN on the FISH Directory.

You can also:

Search by Ofsted rating on the FISH directory

How do I make childcare arrangements?

Once you have chosen a childcare provider, you will want to set up a formal agreement that clearly states what is being provided and at what cost.

Terms and conditions you may want to consider are:

  • details about payments, including fees or a deposit to secure your child’s place

  • the date the contract starts

  • what is included in the cost including other consumables that could be added such as lunch and snacks. As the funding does not cover the costs of meals, other consumables (such as nappies or sun cream), additional hours or additional activities (such as trips).

  • the days and hours your child will be with the childcare provider

  • what happens if your childcare provider is unable to provide care

  • details regarding bank holidays

  • notice periods.

Once you sign a contract with your childcare provider, you should each keep a copy for future reference.

Find childcare providers in the FISH directory

How do I complain about childcare?

Unless you think children are at risk of harm from the childcare provider, it is usually best if you discuss your concerns with the provider or the person in charge before you contact Ofsted.

If you are a parent or carer and cannot sort out your concern through discussion, you can make a formal complaint by writing to the provider. The law says that providers must have a process for handling written complaints. Home child carers do not need to have this process.

If you are a parent or carer and you make a formal written complaint about your provider must carry out an investigation. They must tell you about the outcome of their investigation, and any action they take or plan to take, as an outcome of your complaint.

They must do this within:

  • 28 days of receiving your complaint if they are registered on the early years register
  • 28 days of receiving your complaint if they are registered on the childcare register.

You can ask to have the outcome of their investigation in writing.

If you are not satisfied with their response, or your concern relates to a matter you cannot discuss with your provider, you can contact Ofsted direct on 0300 123 4666.

Contact us

Alternatively, you can contact the Families' Information Service Hub on:

Tel: (01482) 396469 who will pass the details on to Ofsted for you.

It is important to remember that if you do not want to give your name when making a complaint, you can choose to remain anonymous.

All registered childcare providers, except home childcarers, must keep a record of written complaints.

Contact Ofsted

If you believe a child is at risk then please contact Ofsted direct:

Tel: 0300 123 4666
Ofsted website (external website)

General advice

If you are unsure about what to do or require more information please contact:

The Customer Service Team
Tel: (01482) 393939

What is a childcare sufficiency assessment?

Under the Childcare Act (2006), we have a duty to ensure that there is sufficient childcare to meet the needs of parents of children aged 0-14 years (up to 18 yrs old for children with a disability) so that they can work, take up education or training.

We carry out a detailed assessment of the supply and demand for childcare every year and publish this in an annual report – Childcare Sufficiency Assessment. The current assessment for 2023 can be viewed using the link below:

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2023 (pdf 1.1mb)

Where can I get more advice?

If we haven’t answered your questions on this page you can get in touch with the FISH team, or visit:

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