Find a nursery or childcare

Information about finding nurseries and childcare in the borough

Types of childcare

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 childcare Description
Childminders Childminders 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.
Crèches Crèches 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-schools Pre-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 clubs Out 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 clubs There 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 classes These 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 childcare Description
Parent and toddler groups These 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 libraries Toy libraries are where children can borrow a wide range of developmental toys.