Choosing childcare can be daunting so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to make your choice. Remember you know your child better than anyone else, so trust your gut instinct and gather as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision.
The first thing you will need to do is to find out exactly what's available in your area. You can search for Ofsted registered childcare in Surrey in our Childcare finder. By choosing a childcare provider who has chosen to register with Ofsted you will know that they have been approved to care for children.
Once you know what's available you can start to do some research to see which will suit your child best.
This is not an exhaustive list, but asking the right questions will give you a good indication of quality and help you decide if the childcare provider is right for you and your child. Don’t forget, first impressions count.
Many childcare providers take part in a quality assurance or other improvement scheme. These enable childcarers to raise their standards in care and education beyond the national standards set by Ofsted.
These can give you an impartial view of a childcare provider and can help provide information on how well they meet the standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage. However remember that their Ofsted inspection only reflects a snapshot in time.
You can search for childcare providers inspection reports on the Ofsted web page www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report
If the childcare provider's report is not available on the Ofsted website it could be because they are newly registered and their report has not been uploaded yet. However if you contact the childcarer they should have a copy of the report which you can ask to see.
Our Thinking about childcare and early education booklet below has information and advice on finding, choosing and paying for childcare.
You might also like to have a look at our At my childminder's photobook for real life snapshots of how children in the care of a childminder might spend their time.