Childcare options

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Alert

Re-opening of Ofsted registered childcare and Free Early Education places from 1 June 2020

In Waltham Forest, our priority is to do everything we can to improve the life chances of children and young people. Childcare providers in the Borough have a strong record of improvement, which is enabling more of our children to progress, achieve and thrive than ever before.

Following the Government’s announcement on the 28 May that Childcare providers can prepare to open for more children from 1 June, we have been working with our Childcare providers to plan how this can be delivered in Waltham Forest.

The safety of children, their families and childcare staff remain the prime concerns for the Council and for those responsible for running these services. We will do all we can to support to open childcare providers to more pupils, but this decision must be based on an assessment of when it is safe to do so, not by an arbitrary deadline.

During April and May, 65 Childcare providers in Waltham Forest remained open to certain pupils throughout the lockdown period and we are extremely proud of their tireless work to provide places for children of key workers and support our most vulnerable children and families.

We would like to thank all those responsible for running these services, and all their staff for their continued dedication, compassion and care in providing this critical service across our community.

We recognise and share the concern of parents and childcare professionals for the safety of children and staff around any return to work. We are also acutely aware of the need for children to access education and social opportunities. Childcare provision is vital to the day-to-day lives of families and every day out of the provision has an impact on children’s Life Chances and parents/carers ability to return to work.  

That is why the Council has been working closely with our childcare providers on a co-ordinated strategy to ensure that any return to childcare can be implemented safely. Following careful consultation with Childcare providers and parents, it is clear some Childcare providers are ready to open on 1 June, whereas some other providers still have further planning to do. Waltham Forest Council will support childcare providers to re-open further for priority groups only when they are ready and it is safe to do so, from 1 June.

We have made it clear to Childcare providers that we expect them only to open to additional children once risk assessments have been carried out and appropriate measures put in place. A one size fits all approach will not work and Childcare providers will need to implement plans based on a range of factors including their size, layout of their site, and availability of their staff. This means that Childcare providers may decide to be open for one or more age groups, on either a full or part time basis in the first instance.

If demand for places is higher than the setting’s capacity when measures to allow physical distancing between groups are in place, it may be necessary to have a temporary cap on numbers of children attending the setting. If necessary, settings should prioritise vulnerable children and children of critical workers, then 3 and 4 year olds, in particular those who will be transitioning to reception in September, followed by younger age groups. If for any reason the provider who was delivering your child’s free early education or childcare place prior to Covid19 closure is unable to provide a place in the summer term, we will make every effort to find a place at an alternative provision if one is required. If you would like to take up a childcare place or your free early education hours but your usual provider is unable to offer this yet, please contact the Childcare Team for support to find an alternative provider:

  1. 0208 496 3566
  2. childcare@walthamforest.gov.uk.
  3. Further information can be found on Facebook.

Government guidance also states ‘To minimise contact between groups of children and staff, children should attend just one setting wherever possible’. Each Ofsted registered provider in the Borough will need to carry out their own risk assessment, and put in place arrangements, in line with current Government guidance, that they feel are right for their specific setting and any other setting that they shared care across prior to Covid19 which they would also discuss and agree with parents/carers. These arrangements should ensure that children should attend just one setting

We are very aware of the difficulties that many families are facing throughout the borough. Alongside the work to reopen Childcare providers to additional children we are working on a recovery plan with all our Childcare providers to begin to address the issues of children missing vital learning, as well the provision of additional social and wellbeing support that we know many children will need.

The Council is working closely with all interested parties and will continue to work with Childcare providers to keep parents and staff informed.

Full Government guidance

There's a range of childcare options available if you're:

  • returning to work
  • looking for a free early education and childcare place for your two, three or four year old
  • seeking play opportunities for your child or children
  • needing someone to care for your child while you study, or simply need a break

Search for childcare providers

Questions to ask when visiting childcare providers and childminders

Free childcare for 2 3 and 4 year olds - leaflet.pdf

The Councils Early Years and Childcare Team are keen to support families as much as possible during the Covid 19 response restrictions and have produced the information below for parents and carers who do not meet the criteria to continue to attend their childcare setting and/or have chosen  to remain at home with their child.

We are launching the Learning Together Programme which has been developed by qualified teachers and speech and language therapists in partnership with Chit Chat Pitter Pat. This programme includes top tips on how you can help your children with their development through fun activities at home.

The first few years are the most important in your child's learning and development. As a parent or carer, you have the biggest influence during this time and there are a number of ways in which you can help with their early development.

To get involved and start learning, join the following Facebook groups:

We look forward to working with you all!

Keep learning during lockdown 

Download a range of resources and activities to keep learning throughout lockdown with Chit Chat Pitter Pattt.

All three and four year olds and some two year olds are entitled to a certain amount of free early education and childcare. This is known as the Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE) which is a government grant.

Find out about:

Day nurseries Click to get info

Day nurseries provide care and education for children from six weeks to compulsory school-age. There are different types of day nurseries e.g. privately run, community, council or workplace. They must all be registered and regularly inspected by Ofsted and have to comply with strict guidelines on staff/children ratios. Opening hours will tend to fit in with an average working day of 8am to 6pm, and care is usually provided all year round.

Search for nursery providers on Ofsted 

Pre-schools Click to get info

Children can usually attend pre-school from the age of two until compulsory school age (if parents defer a reception place).

They usually offer three-hour morning or afternoon sessions. Children can also bring in a packed lunch and stay through the lunch break in order to run two sessions together. A full day at pre-school would be the same length as a school day, between 8.30am and 3.30pm.

Most pre-schools have the same term dates as local schools. 

The ratio for two year olds is one adult to four children, and for three to five year olds is one adult to eight children.

Search for Pre-schools on Ofsted 

Childminders Click to get info

A childminder is someone who cares for children in their own home. They generally provide care for young children. They look after small groups of children of different ages and from different families.

Most childminders will be registered for three children under five years and another three aged five to eight years. However, many childminders in Waltham Forest are expanding their business and employing assistants, or working alongside other registered minders, so they can care for more children at once. 

In England, childminders register with Ofsted, the regulatory body. They follow the same legal framework, the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework 2014, as any other childcare provider (such as pre-schools and nurseries), so should offer the same quality experience.

View a short video - a guide to what parents think about using a registered childminder- produced by the National Childminding Association. It also has further information on the services childminders can provide.

Search for childminders on Ofsted 

Schools Click to get info

Local authority (LA) maintained nursery schools and classes are attached to LA infant and primary schools in Waltham Forest. Places are mostly available on a part time basis, either in the morning or afternoon, for children aged between three and five years old, although some will take two year olds. There is no charge to attend a LA nursery as these are funded by the government through the local authority. However there may be a charge for out of hours care such as a breakfast or after school club.

There are other types of childcare, which focus on providing occasional care or care for school-age children outside of normal school hours.

Search for school nurseries on Ofsted 

Breakfast and afterschool clubs generally provide care before and after school for children aged from four to 12 years, although some are able to cater for older children as part of the government's extended schools agenda.

Clubs are either offered by a school or by an external childcare provider based at a school or local community venue.

Not all schools are required to provide out of school care if they can demonstrate that there is little or no demand for these services. They can satisfy government requirements by signposting to other local provision, such as childminders or nearby out of school clubs. However, if there is a definite need, schools are required to implement out of school care, but this does not have to be provided by the school itself.     

Creches Click to get info

Crèches offer occasional care for children under eight years of age. Parents are not required to stay with their child. Crèches have to be registered if they run for more than two hours a day.

Search for creches on Ofsted 

Holiday schemes Click to get info

Holiday schemes are run during the school holidays and are based at schools, youth or community centres. They are generally open to children aged from four to 12 years although some are able to cater for older children.

Current summer holiday schemes

Name of setting

Kids In Charge At Heathcote School

Address

Heathcote School & Science College, 96 Normanton Park, E4 6ES

Telephone number

0208 530 7075

email address

marketing@kidsincharge.co.uk

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 Aug

Ages of children/young people service offered to

2 to 12 Years old

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

7.30am to 6.30pm

 

Name of setting

Camp Wild at Woodford County High School

Address

Woodford County High School, High Rd, Woodford Green IG8 9LA

Telephone number

07414 274 015

email address

Info@camp-wild.co.uk

Dates provision is open

3 August to 21 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to

3 to 12 Year olds

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

8.30pm to 5.30pm

 

Name of setting

Yellow Birds Play Academy Limited

Address

Mornington Hall, The Green Walk, Chingford, E4 7EN

Telephone number

0208 509 0006

email address

childcare@yellowbirds.co.uk

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to

3 to 13 Years old

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

7.30am to 6.30pm

 

Name of setting

Focal Learning

Address

Anatolian Centre, Unit 2, The Mews, 2a Truro Road, E17 7BY

Telephone number

07878 982 495

email address

Focaltuition@gmail.com

Dates provision is open

From 27 July

Ages of children/young people service offered to

7 to over 16s

Days service is open

Tuesday to Thursday

Opening Times

12 noon to 4pm

 

Name of setting

Childcare Solution

Address

Our Lady & St. Georges School, 140 Shernhall Street, E17 9HU

Telephone number

07889 560 516

email address

Info@childcare-solution.com

Dates provision is open

3 August to 21 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to

4 to 11 Years old

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

8am to 3pm

 

Name of setting

Study Right Limited 

Address

87-89 Wood Street, E17 3JX

Telephone number

07525 813 932

e-mail address

Studyrightlc@gmail.com

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to

8 to over 16s

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

10.30am to 5.30pm

 

Name of setting

Study Right Limited 

Address

60-62 Chingford Mount Road, E4 9AA

Telephone number

020 8527 2135

e-mail address

Studyrightlc@gmail.com

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to

8 to over 16s

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

10.30am to 5.30pm

 

Name of setting

Study Right Limited 

Address

87-89 Wood Street, E17 3JX

Telephone number

07525 813 932

e-mail address

Studyrightlc@gmail.com

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 Aug

Ages of children/young people service offered to

8 to over 16s

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

10.30am to 5.30pm

 

Name of setting

Study Right Limited 

Address

60-62 Chingford Mount Road, E4 9AA

Telephone number

020 8527 2135

e-mail address

Studyrightlc@gmail.com

Dates provision is open

20 July to 29 Aug

Ages of children/young people service offered to

8 to over 16s

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

10.30am to 5.30pm

 

Name of setting

Church Hill Nursery School

Address

47 Woodbury Road,Walthamstow,London,E17 9SB

Telephone number

020 8520 4919

email address

school@churchhill.waltham.sch.uk

Dates provision is open

21 July to 21 August

Ages of children/young people service offered to;

2 to 4 years

Days service is open

Monday to Friday

Opening Times

8am to 6pm

 

*Please note that this Holiday Provision is fully booked and is not offering places to any additional children currently

All early years settings must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework which includes having arrangements in place to identify and support children with additional needs. Settings should also have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who is responsible for making sure these children receive the support they need.

The Early Years and Childcare Service work together with SENCOs and EYFS Leads by offering information, advice and training in meeting the needs of children with additional needs. This includes universal support packages to early years settings and the allocation of additional funding and targeted support to settings to support individual children such as the SEN Inclusion Funding (SENIF).

For more information about the support your child will receive or is receiving in an Early Years setting, speak with the settings SENCO.

If you need further support with looking for childcare, contact us at childcare@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 020 8496 3566.