Types of childcare
There are many options for childcare in Medway, so if you’re a parent returning to work there are different options to consider.
A childminder will care for a small group of children in their own home. Childminders can set their own working hours and many work early mornings, evenings, weekends and some are also registered to look after children overnight.
All childminders are inspected and registered by Ofsted if they take care of children up to 8 years old. All adults (aged 16 or over) living or working in the childminder’s home will be police checked.
Day nurseries offer early education and care for children under 5. Nurseries can be private, community or council run and must be inspected by Ofsted.
All day nurseries offer part-time and full day care, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
After school and breakfast clubs
Breakfast clubs are normally available from 7.30am until school begins. After school clubs are normally available until 6.30pm.
Holiday schemes offer care and play for children aged 4 to 16 outside of school term-time. They offer daily activities for children, play areas and quiet areas with the chance for special events to be arranged.
Some schemes are designed for children with special needs but many schemes are also suitable for children with disabilities.
Schemes for children under 8 must be inspected and registered by Ofsted.
To find a holiday scheme in Medway go to Family Information Service Medway, search for 'scheme', then click 'finish'.
Nannies are hired by families to care for children in the family home. They can live in or out of the home and often have qualifications in childcare.
Au pairs are usually from abroad and live within a family home to support childcare. They are not registered with Ofsted so they are a better option to look after children for after-school care but not for babies.
School nursery classes offer early education and care for children up to 3 years old.
Preschools offer early education and care for children under 5 years old and are often part time only.
Preschools must be inspected and registered by Ofsted.
Baby and toddler classes
Baby and toddler classes give young children the opportunity to play, socialise and learn together. This helps children learn social skills and gain confidence which gets them ready for regular daycare.
For more information on services for families in Medway, visit the Family Information Service website.
Find out more about the Early Years Sufficiency Service (EYSS) and Family Information Service (FIS).