Types of childcare
There's lot of childcare options out there, so it's important to choose the right one for you and your child.
Whichever you choose, it's always advisable you have a written contract with your childcare provider, and if they are registered, see a copy of their registration certificate and public liability certificate.
Here is a quick guide to what's available in Powys.
Registered or Unregistered?
In Wales (From April 2016) all childcare provisions operating for more than 2 hours a day, with children under 12 years of age, will need to be registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).
There are exemptions for youth services or where the carer is providing tuition or coaching. If in doubt please contact us to check. We work closely with CIW to ensure that we maintain a comprehensive list of registered childcare in the County.
Parent & Toddler & Ti A Fi Groups.
Parent & Toddlers are for parents / carers to meet other parents / carers to help and support each other, usually the children will be under 5, and meet once a week during term-time for a couple of hours, with a parent taking on the responsibility of leading the group.
Ti a Fi's are similar but encourage the use of Welsh language through stories or nursery rhymes in Welsh. Parents do not need to be welsh speakers and can learn along with their child.
Parents & Toddlers and Ti a Fi's are usually unregistered and held in village halls, or community centres. We try to maintain a list of them on our childcare search, but if you think we are missing one then please let us know.
Childminders usually provide childcare in their own home and are self-employed. They are inspected by CIW regularly to ensure their home meets stringent standards. Childminders usually are more flexible with their hours and are willing to open earlier or close later. Some also pick up from schools and open on weekends. Childminders can provide overnight care, but there are specific regulations around this, please contact us for more details.
You can find a list of childminders in our childcare search.
Day Nurseries usually operate from churches, community centres, school or purpose built centres. These centres will have been inspected and approved by CIW, who will also check: staff ratios, training and safeguarding. Inspections are usually carried out annually with a report written after each one, which can be found on the CIW website.
Day Nurseries usually operate from 8am until 6pm. Sometimes they may also have an after school club, playgroup or parent and toddler group attached. They may also be registered as an Early Years Provider, which means your child may be eligible for 3 year old education funding, or Flying Start funding for 2 year olds if you live in a Flying Start Area. - Please contact us to see if you're eligible.
Out of School & Holiday Clubs
Out of School Clubs include After School and Breakfast Clubs, usually run from a school. They provide up to half an hour in the morning and up to 2 hours after school. These groups are not available at every school.
After School Clubs are usually run by other parents or members of the school support staff, and charge a small fee to cover time or expenses, with snacks costing extra.
Breakfast Clubs are usually free, but some charge a small fee especially if they are open for longer than half an hour.
Holiday Clubs open during the school holidays for children of school age. These are usually based in community halls or schools, and are registered. Holidays clubs often have structured sessions and a range of activities that may include arts and crafts, trips out and free play, so fees may vary from day to day.
You can find a list of holiday and out of school care in your local area on our childcare search.
Playgroups & Cylch Meithrin Groups
Playgroups provide sessional care for children aged from 2½ to 5 years. They may also provide Early Years Education for 3 year olds. They are usually open in term time only and sessions last for no longer than 4 hours. Those that run longer than 2 hours will be registered.
Cylchoedd (Or Cylch) Meithrin offer similar provision through the medium of Welsh. Children who attend sessions may come from families with a variety of linguistic backgrounds.
These groups usually run from schools, or community centres, some are attached to a school or day nursery.
You can find a list of local settings on our Childcare search.
Nannies, Au Pairs & Babysitters
Nannies, Au Pairs and Babysitters all provide care for children in their own home. These do not need to be registered. It is up-to the employer to make sure they are suitable and that all the appropriate checks have been carried out. However CIW operates a 'Voluntary Approval Scheme' that home-carers can sign up to, which provides some reassurances.
We do not recommend Nannies, Au Pairs and Babysitters and do not hold any details of people operating these services.
However, if you do choose to use these services, we recommend that you check they have: First-Aid Training, Right to Work Permits, a Criminal Record Check (DBS), references you can check, a childcare qualification (or experience) as well as a good working knowledge of healthy eating and planning activities. You will need to ensure that you are paying them correctly (you can seek advice from HMRC) and that you have the appropriate insurances for them to operate in your home.