Choosing the right childcare can be a difficult decision for every parent, but can be particularly challenging if your child has a disability or special educational need. You may struggle to access the childcare that you want that meets your child's needs and is suitable for your family.
Find out about all the difficult types of childcare available below:
Registered childminders look after children under 12 years sometimes older in their own home. They can offer full time, part time, before and after school pick ups and school holiday care.
Childminders are able to offer parents of disabled children many benefits including flexibility and a highly individualised service. Your child will be able to mix with other children in a smaller, family or home
You should always discuss your child's needs with a childminder before entering a contract. It might be useful to draw up a plan for the childminder that includes information on your child's medicines, special dietary requirements, allergies, sleeping times and so on.
Childminders also have access to support and training from the borough's Quality Early Years and Childcare Team. They can assist in finding additional support where necessary and signpost them to relevant services.
Day nurseries, nursery schools, pre-school playgroups and out of school care
Day nurseries, nursery schools, pre-school playgroups and out of school care have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who will be able to discuss what's right for you and your child within the setting.
The SENCO will be familiar with other practitioners and services that work with children with disabilities and know how to find additional guidance or support if necessary.
Day Nurseries look after children up to the age of 5 years. They provide daycare and education for children in age related groups. Some day nurseries also deliver the Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Some day nurseries also offer before and after school pick ups and holiday care.
Nursery Schools provide Free Early Learning and care for 3 and 4 year olds (Nursery Education). They are normally based at infant and primary schools.
Pre-school playgroups provide part time play and some may also be registered to deliver Free Early Learning for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Out of school care
Out of School care is care outside normal school hours these include Breakfast Clubs, After School Clubs and School Holiday Playscheme/Clubs.
Other childcare providers:
Nannies and homebased carers
Usually Nannies and Homebased Carers will provide care for children in your home and can look after children of any age.
A crèche provides occasional care for limited periods of time for children up to 8 years old. For example if you are attend a course or go the gym etc.
- All childcare providers must meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and make 'reasonable adjustments' to include disabled children. They must not treat a disabled child 'less favourably' because of their disability.
- Give the carer clear and detailed information about your child's needs, methods of communication, medication, appointments, likes and dislikes.
- An honest and open discussion about your child's needs with the childcare provider, involving, for example, an occupational therapist or psychologist where necessary, can often lead to a better understanding of your child's needs and how these can be managed.
- If you are having difficulty finding suitable childcare, Sandwell Family Information can support you. Contact us them on 0121 569 4914 and they will be happy to assist.