Types of childcare

There are different types of childcare available to you in Herefordshire. All three and four-year-olds are entitled to free childcare, while some two-year-olds are also eligible. You can find out more information and get an estimate of how much you could get to help pay for approved childcare on the government childcare calculator web page


A childminder is someone who is paid to look after children aged under 12 for more than two hours a day. They do this in their home and not the child's. This makes them a good choice if you would prefer your child to be looked after in a domestic environment, or have different aged children you want cared for together. Many childminders offer flexible childcare but you will need to negotiate the arrangements and payment rate directly with them. Every childminder must be registered with Ofsted and you can find a childminder on the WISH website.

Breakfast clubs, after school clubs and holiday clubs

Breakfast clubs and after school clubs offer supervised play and care for school aged children before and after the school day. Some clubs operate during school holidays. Most will offer age-appropriate activities for the children, as well as homework support. Many of these clubs are registered with Ofsted.

Parent and toddler groups

Parents and toddler groups provide an excellent opportunity for parents and children to socialise. They do not have to be registered with Ofsted because parents and carers stay with the children. This also means that children can attend from any age.

Day nurseries

Day nurseries provide care and education for children from six weeks to five years old, but the age range covered varies from nursery to nursery. Nurseries can be run as private businesses, voluntary organisations or community day nurseries set up by a local group. All day nurseries are registered with Ofsted and you can find a nursery or playschool on the Ofsted website.

Local authority nurseries

Sometimes called maintained nurseries, local authority nurseries are funded by central government and run by us. They provide 15 hours each week of Early Years Foundation Stage education for children aged 3 to 5. They are attached to a particular primary school and employ relevantly qualified teacher and support staff. All are inspected by Ofsted. Places at some maintained nurseries are in great demand, and it is advisable for parents to register their child well in advance of their third birthday. A nursery's catchment area is larger than that of the attached primary school- a place in a nursery is not a guarantee of an automatic place in the attached infant or primary school.

The following schools in Herefordshire offer Maintained Nursery places: