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Nurseries and childcare

Your child’s early years are a very important time for their development. We offer support to ensure your child has what they need so they can learn and play.

Find a nursery or childcare provider

There are several different types of childcare available within Barking and Dagenham.

You can find childcare providers in our Family Information Service directory.

Find a childcare provider

Choosing a nursery or childcare provider

As a parent or carer you want to make sure your child is safe, happy and well-looked after. You try and protect them from abuse or neglect and help them grow up into confident, healthy and happy adults.

Coram Family and Childcare’s short film choosing a nursery will help you to find a suitable setting, and childcare guides to help you find, choose and fund childcare near you.

Finding good quality childcare can be worrying for parents. There are lots of things to look out for and ask when you visit a childcare provision. When choosing a childcare provider, you can use our checklists to establish that your child will be cared for in a safe environment:

Childcare provider checklist

We recommend that you check details with providers to ensure that their service meets your requirements. Before your visit spend some time thinking about what you are looking for in a childcare provider. Follow the checklist below. 

 What parents and carers should look forWhat parents and carers should do
Childcare provider inspectionsAll registered childcare providers must have their home and childcare practice inspected regularly by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) to ensure the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are being met. Inspections are graded as outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate.

Read the inspection report carefully and if you have any questions discuss them with the childminder.

Inspection reports can be viewed on the Ofsted website or you can ask to look at the childcare provider’s copy of the report.

InsuranceAll registered childcare providers must have an up to date public liability insurance certificate. Ask to see the childcare provider’s public liability certificate and check that it is up to date.
First aidAll registered childcare providers must have an up to date first aid certificate. Ask to see the childcare provider’s first aid certificate and check that it is up to date. 
TrainingAll registered childcare providers must have appropriately trained staff.Ask about the qualifications that staff at the childcare setting have.
Ofsted registrationAll registered childcare providers must have a current Ofsted registration certificate. This must be displayed for parents/carers to view. Ask the childcare provider where their Ofsted registration certificate is displayed. 
ContractIt is important to agree a written contract at the start of your childcare arrangement. This will set out clearly what you expect from the childcare provider, and what is expected from you.Make sure you agree issues such as payments, holidays and sick leave in a written contract. This will help prevent disagreements later on. 

Our Family Information Service can help you find a childminder.

Types of childcare

There are different types of childcare available in Barking and Dagenham. You can search for them using our Family Information Service directory.

Find a childcare provider

Registration and inspection

Some childcare provisions are registered, others are not. 

Registered childcare

Registered childcare settings are inspected by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education), which makes sure standards are maintained. Ofsted inspection reports are public documents and your provider will be happy to show you a copy. They should be available on the provider’s website, or you can ask to look at the childminder’s copy of the report.

Registered providers have agreed to work to a common set of policies covering all the important aspects of their work with children. All children, including disabled children and those with special educational needs, will be offered the same opportunities and level of service.

Type of childcareDescription
ChildmindersChildminders are registered to look after children in their own homes. Childminders are flexible about the hours they work and provide children with a range of activities. Some offer a school pick up and collection service from schools, nurseries and pre-schools.
CrèchesCrèches provides childcare to enable parents to attend an activity taking place on the same premises.

Crèches are required to register if they are open for more than 2 hours on any day and more than 6 days a year.
Day nurseries    Day nurseries provide full or part-time day care for children aged from birth to 5 years. Most are open from 8am to 6pm weekdays. All day nurseries are registered to the same standards.

In Barking and Dagenham some nurseries are privately owned. There are also those that are run by the voluntary sector and those that are run by the local authority.
Pre-schoolsPre-schools offer day care for children aged 2 to 5 years during school terms. They offer a wide range of supervised play and learning opportunities. 

Pre-school fees vary, so check prices for individual settings. Pre-schools can offer free early education places for children aged 3 and 4 years old.
Out of school clubsOut of school clubs provide childcare before school and after school and during school holidays. Each provider offers different combinations of these services.

The clubs meet the needs of children, aged from 4 to 12 years, whose parents work. Individual clubs are linked to specific schools and the club's staff are responsible for escorting children to and from school (as appropriate). 
Holiday clubsThere are a number of childcare settings, such as out of school clubs and pre schools that open during school holidays. In addition specialist play schemes are also available.
Infants and primary nursery classesThese are nursery classes on school sites. They offer care in the morning or afternoon during term-time.

Non-registered childcare

Childcare settings that meet for less than 2 hours a day or are not open to children aged less than 8 years don't need to register with Ofsted.

Type of childcareDescription
Parent and toddler groupsThese groups meet normally once or twice a week. They offer parents or carers of pre-school age children an opportunity of meeting socially while their children are able to take part in play activities.
Toy librariesToy libraries are where children can borrow a wide range of developmental toys.

Find a childminder

Our Family Information Service (FIS) is the only organisation that Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) will liaise with to provide information on childminders in our borough.

Find a childminder

Our Family Information Service can help you find a childminder.

Choosing a childminder

Choosing the best childcare for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make. Childminders must be registered by Ofsted if they look after children up to 8 years old, for more than 2 hours a day, in their home for payment or reward.

Local childminders at work

Barking and Dagenham childminders provide a caring and fun environment for children to learn and develop in.

Reasons to use a childminder

The benefits of using a childminder include:

  • quality care in a home environment in smaller groups so your child gets more individual attention
  • flexible hours to suit the needs of you and your family
  • consistency and stability from birth to secondary school
  • your child learns through play, connecting all areas of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
  • your child can enjoy real life experiences such as cooking, shopping, gardening and outings
  • some of our most experienced and highly trained childminders can offer free childcare to children aged 2, 3 and 4 years

Inspections

Childminders are inspected by Ofsted to ensure:

  • they are meeting the requirements of the early years foundation stage
  • they and their homes are suitable and safe
  • they have completed all relevant training courses including first aid, food hygiene and child protection
  • the childminder and any person over 16 in their household have been checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • all childminders have a support network available to them

Childminder checklist

We recommend that you check details with providers to ensure that their service meets your requirements. Before your visit, spend some time thinking about what you are looking for in a childminder. Follow the checklist below.

 What parents and carers should look forWhat parents and carers should do
Childminder inspectionsAll registered childminders must have their home and childcare practice inspected regularly by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) to ensure the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage are being met. Inspections are graded as outstanding, good, satisfactory or inadequate.

Read the inspection report carefully and if you have any questions discuss them with the childminder.

Inspection reports can be viewed on the Ofsted website or you can ask to look at the childminder’s copy of the report.

InsuranceAll registered childminders must have an up to date public liability insurance certificate. Ask to see the childminder’s public liability certificate and check that it is up to date.
First aidAll registered childminders must have an up to date first aid certificate. Ask to see the childminder’s first aid certificate and check that it is up to date. 
TrainingAll registered childminders must have completed a childminding course before or within six months of registering with Ofsted. Ask to see the childminder’s certificate to show that they have completed the course. 
Ofsted registrationAll registered childminders must have a current Ofsted registration certificate. This must be displayed for parents/carers to view. Ask the childminder where their Ofsted registration certificate is displayed. 
ContractIt is important to agree a written contract at the start of your childcare arrangement. This will set out clearly what you expect from the childminder, and what is expected from you.Make sure you agree issues such as payments, holidays and sick leave in a written contract. This will help prevent disagreements later on. 

Help with childcare costs

This online benefits and budgeting tool will help you understand what help you can get to pay for childcare.

Becoming a childminder

Find out what's required to become a registered childminder in Barking and Dagenham.

Become a childminder

Abbey Children’s Centre Nursery

Opening hours

Morning session: 8am to 12.50 pm.

Afternoon session: 1.10pm to 6pm.

The nursery offers full and part-time places.

Location

Abbey Children's Centre

North Street, Barking IG11 8JA
020 8724 1274
Nicola.Solly@lbbd.gov.uk

Accessibility

Fees

Prices are:

  • £245 per week
  • £55 per day
  • £33 per session

Free childcare funding

The nursery receives early education funding for 2, 3 and 4-years olds.

Meals

We use mealtimes as an opportunity to learn about healthy eating. A weekly varied nutritious meal is provided by Zebedee’s Lunchbox, a catering company that supplies meals to schools and nurseries.

Quality care

High quality early education can give your child the very best start in life. Barking and Dagenham’s Abbey Children’s Centre Nursery offers a happy, nurturing, secure and stimulating environment to enable your child to develop and excel in their learning.

We’re situated in a purpose-built building and offer a wide range of activities and experiences following the child’s interest, in line with the guidance of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The play-based framework of the EYFS will help develop your child socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually.

All our managers, nursery officers and nursery assistants have qualifications in early years and childcare and Ofsted has rated us a good nursery. The nursery promotes equalities and diversity in line with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham policies.

Apply for a place

Nursery fees

Fees are paid by Direct Debit on or around the first of every month. Please see the senior nursery manager for more details.

If you don’t pay

If payment is not received on time, further action will be taken. To avoid this contact the General Income section.

General Income Section

Roycraft House, 15 Linton Road, Barking IG11 8HE

020 8227 3597

income@lbbd.gov.uk

In order to recover the invoice, further action can include but is not limited to:

  • debt collection agency: it will be referred to a debt collection agency to recover monies from you
  • county court judgement: this will severely affect your credit rating and may affect your ability to get loans, including mortgages, credit cards, store cards and increases in credit limits (further costs will be incurred)
  • appointing enforcement agents to remove and sell your possessions, further costs will be incurred
  • third party debt order: this order is made to prevent you from taking money out of your bank/building society account
  • charging order: this prevents you from selling assets such as property, investments or land, without paying what is owed; we can apply to the court for an order allowing them to force the sale of property once a charging order is agreed
  • bankruptcy: a creditor can apply to make you bankrupt if you owe more than £750 and an acceptable repayment arrangement has not been made

Help for dads

Services are often geared around the needs of mothers, which can make dads feel left out!

However, fathers play equally important role in bringing up their children and have needs of their own. Children don’t come with instructions and a parent’s role can be very demanding for both mums and dads.

Support for dads

Dad Info

Offers daily tips on fatherhood, forums, ask an expert services, advice, guidance and lifestyle articles, geo search facilities, a services directory, online coaching, children’s centre services, competitions, newsletters and reviews.

Fathers Rights

Provides information about rights of UK fathers.

Dad at Home

The only UK support group dedicated to helping dads who are staying at home to bring up their children, Dad at Home is an interactive website for dads bringing up their children. Dads can meet up, offer advice and support and share their experiences of hands-on fathering.

Fatherhood Institute

This fatherhood think tank has information on a father’s role, research and training.

Specialist support for dads

These websites provide specialist support for dads with specific needs.

Families Need Fathers

Provides information and support to parents, including unmarried parents, of either sex. Families Need Fathers is chiefly concerned with the problems of maintaining a child’s relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown

Separated Dads 

A unique reference point on being away from or separated from your children

The Centre for Separated Families

A national charity that works with everyone affected by family separation in order to bring about better outcomes for children

Only Dads

A specialist comprehensive online service, given by professionals who really understand the issues and concerns faced by single parents in the UK today

Childcare data

Childcare data for each ward showing:

  • estimated population figures
  • school nursery places
  • places and occupancy

Childcare data

Family Information Service

Town Hall, Town Square, Barking IG11 7LU

020 8227 5395

fis@lbbd.gov.uk