This childcare and parenting section explains how to get help with child care in the UK. There is extra information on education and assistance for those with school-age children.
CHILDCARE SUPPORT: Experiencing motherhood and raising a child can result with a search for financial support.
You will find guidance and advice about the topics which matter the most to all parents.
The list helps you find childcare in your area and how to seek financial support for child care.
Check to see if you qualify for help paying for someone to look after your child.
You may be eligible for the Care to Learn benefit or the Childcare Grant. Learn how to use the Tax Credits calculator to work out your Tax credits and child care costs.
CHILD ADOPTION: These guidelines explain how to adopt a child in the United Kingdom. Find out who can adopt children and how the legal process works for fostering and surrogacy.
CHILDCARE AFTER PARENTS SEPARATE: What happens about childcare when parents get divorced or separate? How do the legal issues of separation affect child maintenance and child custody? This section covers the common disagreements and disputes about parentage during divorce or separation.
DOMESTIC HELPERS: How to determine the employment status of nannies, childcare workers, au pairs, and other personal assistants who work permanently or part time in your home. If you hire a person to lend a helping hand at your house you need to ensure whether they are an employee.
EARLY EDUCATION & CHILDCARE: In England all 3 and 4-year-olds, as well as some 2 year olds, are eligible for 570 hours of free early education or childcare per year. As a rule, most parents take this as 15 hours each week for 38 weeks of the year. Check to see if your local council offers free early education and childcare in your area (limited services are available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
NURSERY SCHOOL PLACE: If you have children under 5 years old and live in England or Wales you can apply for a place in a nursery school organised through your local council.
OFSTED INSPECTION REPORT: Use the online facility to find an Ofsted inspection report. The report allows a search by name, address, or Unique reference Number (URN) for childminders and childcare providers, children and families services, colleges and further education providers, residential holiday schemes for disabled children, and schools.
REGISTERED CHILDMINDER: If you live in England or Wales you can contact your local council to find registered childminders available in your area. The Family Information Service also provides further information about family support, early years education, and helpful advice about becoming a childminder or childcare provider.
SURE START CHILDREN'S CENTRE: You can contact your local council or use the online Family Information Directory (FID) to find a Sure Start Children's Centre near to your home and compare the services they offer. The free service is open to all parents, carers and children.
You can get help about child and family health, daycare and parenting advice, money, training and employment, and certain centres provide early learning and full day care for pre-school children. Contact the Department for Education if you are given wrong information about a Sure Start Children's Centre near you.
Telephone: 0370 000 2288 (find out about call charges)
FAMILY SUPPORT: Find out what benefits and entitlements you can claim. This section has information on family benefits and financial support for those who are pregnant or already have children.
Law on Leaving a Child Alone - Even though UK law does not clearly state at what age it becomes legal to leave a child on their own, it becomes an offence if you leave a child alone where it places them at risk of harm. Therefore, even though it is often a tricky decision to make, parents and childminders should use good judgement on the maturity level of all children before leaving them without parental supervision - such as in a car or at home.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) recommends that;
Note: Leaving a child unsupervised 'in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health' may result in prosecution proceedings being taken against the parent.
BENEFITS FOR PREGNANT MOTHERS: A listing of financial support and benefits families can claim during a pregnancy. This pregnant mothers and baby guide provides vital information about benefits income for parents with children. There is a full range of help from the UK government and your employer after the birth, and we help you find out how to get.
SENDING CHILDREN TO SCHOOL: Get advice about dealing with schools and how to get financial childcare support for your school-age kids. In England, policy implementation for public education and state-funded schools is the responsibility of local government authorities.
Childcare and Parenting Support for School Children