Childcare: Ensuring Good Quality, Good Care, Good Value
Here are some guidelines about what childcare is available and where you can look for it.
Get some pointers about how to ensure you get good quality, reliable care for your children that you feel confident about.
For many single parents, going out to work is a necessity rather than a life choice and selecting appropriate, accessible childcare can make this decision even more difficult. Find out about all the different Types of Childcare Available.
National statistics show that there is a shortage of childcare places with only one childcare place available for every four children under eight. There are also gaps in provision for wrap-around-care and those that cater for children with special needs or disabilities. This is against a background of generally high childcare costs. For tips on how to ensure you make the right choice for you and your child, read Choosing a Childcare setting and Why choose a child minder.
Finding affordable childcare is likely to be a real challenge for most single parents. This is particularly true following the new Welfare reforms which came into play in May 2012. All single parents of children aged 5 and over who are claiming Income Support (IS) were automatically transferred to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and had to be actively seeking work or face cuts to their benefits. Find out about where you can get Help with Childcare Costs.
The availability of childcare may also depends upon the age of your child and the area where you live. Read Where to look for local Childcare.
Leaving your child in the care of others can be worrying, especially if this is the first time. Get some tips and useful questions to ask in the article Can I Trust my Childcare Provider.