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Whatever type of childcare you choose, you should expect high quality learning and care.
Leicestershire County Council is working hard to raise the quality of early learning and childcare across the county – providing support, training and advice to practitioners.

Care for children aged 0-5

Practitioners working with children aged 0-5 follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. It describes how practitioners should work with you and your child to support development and learning – which includes recommendations for playing outdoors and learning through play.
It also describes how your child should be cared for and kept safe – including things like staffing ratios, qualifications, safety requirements and providing healthy snacks and drinks.
The framework is based on four themes and principles:
  • A Unique Child - Every child learns from birth in their own way and at their own pace.
  • Positive Relationships - Children with loving and secure relationships (with their parents or another important person) learn to be strong and independent.
  • Enabling Environments - The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning.
  • Learning and Development - Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of Learning and Development are equally important and inter-connected.
As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important educator. It’s really important that you continue in this role, supporting at home what your child is learning through your childcare provider.
Your childcare provider should keep you updated about your child’s activities and progress – or you could talk to them about the best way for you to keep up-to-date. This will all help to make sure your child’s education gets off to a good start.

Care for older children

As you child grows, their needs will change – adapting to school hours, holidays and individual interests. Whether your child attends an after-school club, a childminder or a holiday playscheme, you should look for signs of high quality care which extends their learning experiences beyond the classroom.
Your childcare provision should be following the good practice recommended by Ofsted.

Ofsted Registers

The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) is responsible for the regulation of childcare services.
Ofsted has two roles: to register all new childcare providers, and to inspect all registered providers.
Ofsted operates two types of childcare register: the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register
You should ask your childcare provider to show you their registration certificate and inspection reports. If you have any concerns about a provider, you can contact Ofsted on 0300 123 1231 or visit the childcare section in the Ofsted website

Can I get some advice?

Leicestershire County Council’s Family Information Service offers impartial advice and guidance, or a tailored package of support to help you make the right decision. Contact a dedicated advisor on 0116 305 6545 or email

Further Information

Safeguarding of children in childcare
Ofsted – Information about childcare
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Page Last Updated: 7 December 2012