What’s a crèche?

What do creches offer

It is sooo easy to get lost within all the childcare possibilities and baby activities around!

Whether you are having your first baby or just moved here, I’m sure you have all these questions (and more) coming through your mind; What is the difference between them all?

What age can my baby start? Is it safe? Are the settings checked by someone/something frequently, and who? What are they going to do with my child?

First thing first, here are the different childcare options in London.

  • Playgroups and parents/baby classes will require the parent to stay at all times.
  • Nannies are employed to care for a child in the child’s home. They are professionals with qualifications.
  • Au pairs are a young adult aged 18 to 30 who travels to a foreign country for a defined period of time to live with a host family. The au pair supports the host family with childcare and light housework while learning the language and culture of the host country. They are usually unqualified and should not look after children under 2 years old.
  • Childminders provide childcare services. They are accredited by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They inspect services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. And they also inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people.) to look after children in their own house. Local authorities with environmental health responsibilities can also inspect childminders. A childminder is only allowed to look after a couple of children at once, cannot have more than one infant in the group, and will provide educational activities. The age they take babies in depends on their availability. They are usually open all day and most of the year.
  • Nurseries welcome children from 2-3 months to 4 years old. Children are divided into groups, and the number of children depends on the size of the nursery. They are open all day and most of the year and are inspected by Ofsted and local authorities. They have to follow a program (Montessori, EYFS, forest school,…) in terms of activities and outdoor play or outings.
  • Preschools take children from 2-3 years old until 4 years old. Children are usually separated into different age groups of 8+ children in each. They are most of the time open term time only and are inspected by Ofsted and local authorities. They also have to follow a program (Montessori, EYFS, forest school,…) in terms of activities and outdoor play or outings.
  • Creches generally only take children for a couple of hours at a time, even if they are open all day.  They’re designed to provide occasional childcare. When welcoming children for less than 2h, they do not require to be registered with Ofsted. They usually take children from 6months to 4 years, have mixed age groups, are in a smaller setting and are open term time or year-round. 

What happens at creche when I leave?

All settings will have their routine.

The day usually starts with free play, then circle time, activities, food times and more play.
All children’s needs are taken care of. Their nappies will be changed when the need arises, potty trained children will have the possibility to go to the bathroom at any time, infants are fed when needed, and older ones’ routine includes snack time.

Each setting will have their own settling procedure, to ensure your child’s transition to be as smooth as possible.

The activities are planned to provide children the opportunity to learn, develop, and challenge themselves while having fun. They will work on and develop their creativity, imagination, observation skills, curiosity, fine & gross motor skills, problem solving skills, empathy, interaction/relationship/social skills, cognitive skills, language/communications skills, and so much more.

Being surrounded in a safe and caring environment  will help children learn about themselves, developing their personality and character, gaining confidence and self esteem.

The team looking after your child will be DBS checked and trained.

Therefore, a creche is the perfect spot for a child to have his own safe place outside his home, where he/she will feel comfortable and grow happily with his/her second family. 

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