Help! I’m returning to work and I need to find some childcare, what options do I have?

Choosing the right childcare is one of the most important things a parent has to get right! How do they know they are choosing the right option? What kind childcare is available?

There are three main types of childcare to consider, which option is right for you will depend on several factors:

  • What kind of care you want – do you want a homely environment for your child to be in or do you want a more structured setting with multiple child carers and many children
  • How much childcare is needed, what times of day, how many days a week etc – some childcare provisions may not be able to offer the complete flexibility needed
  • Your budget, each option carries a different cost, costs can vary depending on where you live as well as how many children are to be looked after
  • Your child’s likes and dislikes, interests and behaviour

So what are the options?

  • Registered Childminders
  • Nanny
  • Nursery
  • Au Pair

And where do I start to find which option is best for our family?

Trust your Instincts! Do your research. Your local authority, council or Families Information Service is a good starting point. Ask for recommendations from friends who have used childcare previously. However do remember that what suits one family, may not necessarily be the same for you.

If you choose a nursery or childminder, go and visit as many as you can to make sure you are confident that your child will be well cared for, interacted with and happy. Do the children look happy, are the staff approachable, cheerful and actively interacting with the children?

If you choose a Nanny, there are a number of Nanny Agencies to choose from, seek advice and recommendations from friends to compare their experiences. Again Trust your Instincts!

Choose an Agency who is accredited with The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA). Being a member of ANA means we are all committed to providing a high quality of care, support and reassurance that everything has been done to vet and verify each child carer is who they say they are and thus ensuring a family has the right child carer available to them.

Some Agencies can help you find an Au Pair solution, however this is not recommended for children under the age of 3 years.


Information provided by Sarah Parkin from Kids Deserve the Best Nanny Agency.


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