The Childcare Information Service offers a free, impartial service helping families find childcare in Knowsley.
Knowsley Childcare Information Service
The Knowsley Childcare Information Service is a free service providing information on childcare for parents and carers, including:
- Out of school childcare
- Nursery education and pre-school groups
- Primary and secondary school admissions
- Children's Centres
- How to register as a childminder or set up a childcare business.
- The regulation of childcare provision
We also provide information on careers in childcare. Find childcare in Knowsley with our search facility.
What to look for when choosing childcare
There are many types of childcare: early education or pre-school services, child minders, nurseries, nursery classes or out of school clubs.
Here are some key questions to ask a childcare provider:
- How long have you been working with children and what qualifications do you have?
- Can I look around the building to see the rooms and outside play space? Where will my child rest?
- What kind of food and drink will you give?
- What will my child do all day?
- How do you encourage good behaviour?
- Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?
- How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?
Other things to look out for:
- Are the children calm, safe and happy?
- Do children play and talk together and are they calm, safe and happy?
- Are the staff friendly, listening to children and answering them carefully?
- Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play and do staff join in?
- Are there plenty of clean toys and equipment for children to use?
- Do parents have plenty of chances to say what they want for their children?
Looking for registered childcare in Knowsley?
What should you look for?
- A top priority for any parent is to know that their child is in safe hands.
- You should ask to see their Ofsted Registration certificate and also the most recent Ofsted Inspection report. Their registration ensures that they meet the 14 National Standards, that all staff have DBS checks and all staff have undertaken relevant training.
- You should ask questions such as:
- What kind of activities do you plan?
- Do the children have access to outdoors?
- Can I see the outdoor environment?
- Are there suitable sleeping arrangements?
- How can I make sure my child is settling in well?
- Will you keep a daily record of what they have done?
- Can I see how the security and signing in books work?
- Do you provide my child/children with healthy food and drinks?
Benefits for your child
High quality childcare and early education gives your child a head start in primary school, research shows that it improves their educational, emotional and social development.
The benefits of part-time attendance are just as good as those for full time.
Full Day Care Nursery:
A day nursery provides care and education, for children between the ages of six weeks and five years. They may also offer Wrap-around places and may provide a pick-up service from nearby schools. Opening times normally coincide with a standard working day. You can send your child full or part-time.
You can find Full Daycare on a number of different sites such as Early Years Centres, Knowsley Primary Schools or private dwellings.
Pre–School or Playgroups:
Pre-school or playgroups provide care for children between 2-5 years. They offer sessions from two and half hours to four hours, during term time, either every day or on several days a week.
Out of School & Holiday Childcare:
Sometimes referred to as out of school clubs, these services are based on school sites, nurseries or community centres, they provide childcare for 4-11-year olds between 8am – 6pm 50 weeks of the year for older children please contact the Early Years Childcare Information Service.
Registered childminders look after your child/children along with other children, usually in their own homes. Most are willing to work early mornings, evenings and weekends, as well as part time and some offer a pick-up service from local schools.
Childcare Brokerage Service for parents with a Disabled Child Leaflet is also available from the Knowsley Early Years Childcare Information Service on 0151 443 5633 Option 4
What will it cost?
Paying for childcare can take a big chunk out of your household income. However, don’t rule out any options until you’ve worked out what financial help is available to you. Also consider the benefits you may be able to claim.
- Tax Credits 0845 300 3900
- Childcare Element of Working Tax Credits
- Tax Free Childcare for working families including the self-employed.
- 30 hours free childcare for 3- and 4-year olds is available for working families
- Universal Credit can also assist with childcare costs if you aren’t receiving tax free childcare
- If you are in training or studying you can get support while you study, please visit the Childcare Choices website
Knowsley Early Years Service provide childcare settings with business support and guidance, to assist Providers when setting their fees.
What if your unhappy about certain aspects of childcare?
Each type of childcare has its pros and cons, and you will need to work out what suits you and your family needs best, based on work hours, budgets, etc. but you should always expect a quality provision.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the care you should, in the first instance, speak to the Manager of the setting, if you are not satisfied with the answers and actions, or have any other concerns, you should contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231
Finding Childcare in your area….
Knowsley Early Years Childcare Information Service holds up to date information on vacancies across the borough.
Telephone: 0151 443 5633 Option 4
You can also call into your local Early Years Centre where staff will be available to obtain the information for you.
Email: [email protected]
Complaints about childcare and nurseries
If you have any complaints or concerns regarding the quality of any day care provision contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231
How to get support
For help and support choosing childcare, call the Childcare Information Service on 0151 443 5633 Option 4
or email [email protected]