Types of childcare
There are different types of childcare available to you in Herefordshire. All three and four-year-olds are entitled to 15 hours free childcare, while some may be eligible for up to 30 hours childcare. Some two-year-olds are also eligible for 15 hours per week funded childcare. You can find out more information through Childcare Choices gov.uk and get an estimate of how much you could get to help pay for approved childcare on the government childcare calculator page. Once you've decided on the type of childcare you need you can start your search for a childcare provider.
A childminder is someone who is paid to look after children usually 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 are registered to accept government funding for nursery education and offer flexible childcare. You will need to negotiate the arrangements and payment rate directly with them for any unfunded hours. Every childminder must be registered with Ofsted and is inspected in the same way as day nurseries and preschool/playgroups.
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 to accept government funding for nursery education. You will need to negotiate the arrangements and payment rate directly with them for any unfunded hours. All day nurseries are registered with Ofsted.
Pre-schools/playgroups provide care and education for children generally from two to five years old, but the age range covered varies at each provider. Preschools/playgroups can be run as private businesses, voluntary or community organisations set up by a local group. All day nurseries are registered to accept government funding for nursery education. You will need to negotiate the arrangements and payment rate directly with them for any unfunded hours. All day pre-schools/playgroups are registered with Ofsted.
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. Some of these clubs are registered with Ofsted and many are offered by schools as well as by nursery or preschool/playgroup providers.
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. Some local authority nurseries are now offering childcare for 2 year olds and for 30 hours childcare. 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:
- Ashfield Park Primary School, Ross-on-Wye
- Broadlands Primary School, Hereford
- Kington Primary School
- Ledbury Primary School
- Leominster Primary School
- Lord Scudamore Primary School, Hereford
- Marlbrook Primary School, Hereford
- Riverside Primary School, Hereford
- St Martin's Primary School, Hereford
- St Peter's Primary School, Bromyard
- Weobley Primary School
- Withington Primary School