Looking for childcare

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

There are a number of different types of childcare to choose from including:

  • Childminders
  • Day nurseries
  • Pre school/playgroup
  • Out of school clubs

The Family Information Service can provide you with a list of Ofsted registered childcare providers in North Lincolnshire including: day nurseries, childminders, children’s centres, pre schools/playgroups, out of school clubs and crèches.

Alternatively, you can search for childcare on our Family Information Directory.

Our childcare information includes contact details, opening hours, quality assurance and last inspection grade.

If you would like help and advice on paying for childcare, please visit our Help with childcare costs page for more information.

If you still need further help on finding suitable childcare please contact us on
01724 296629 or email fis@northlincs.gov.uk.

You can also look for details of other Family Information Services outside of North Lincolnshire on the NAFIS website.

Further information

The Family Information Service can provide you with a list of Ofsted registered childcare providers in North Lincolnshire.

If your child is under eight and you want care for more than two-hours a day, the childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted. It is always a good idea to use registered providers, even for short periods of time or if your children are over eight. Settings that offer childcare for children over the age of eight can opt to register with Ofsted on their Voluntary Childcare Register.

It is illegal for people to provide care for more than two-hours a day for children under eight if they are not registered. Unless they are a relative or the childcare is offered for no reward.

Choosing Ofsted registered childcare for your child means that:

  • The staff should have been vetted and police checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • The quality of the care provided by the setting will be inspected by Ofsted once in every three year cycle to check that it meets their minimum standards. The result of the inspection is then published in a report
  • At least half of the staff in a group setting must hold a childcare qualification
  • Checks are carried out on the premises to make sure the building is safe and suitable for children
  • All registered childcare providers should work to meet the individual needs of all children, including those with a disability or for whom English is an additional language etc.
  • However, they are all different, offering different routines, activities, quality, atmosphere, vision and so on.

When looking for childcare, give yourself plenty of time to find a suitable childcare provider.

Consider what you require from a childcare provider. Do you want full-time or part- time care? A group setting? A homely environment?

Talk to parents and look on notice boards. Personal recommendations are helpful, but always take up references.

Make appointments to visit two or three providers to compare what they can offer you and your child. Take your child with you so you can see how the staff or childminder interacts with them. Think about your child’s personality and interests and which setting will best meet their needs.

What to look for:

  • Are you and your child made to feel welcome by the staff or childminder?
  • Observe the staff or childminder. How are they relating to the children or your child and are you happy with this?
  • Are the children comfortable and happy with the staff or childminder and with the activities and their surroundings?
  • Cultural sensitivity – are different cultures represented in toys, books, and displays?
  • Is there a clean, pleasant, child centred building or play area and somewhere safe to play outside?
  • Can I see your registration certificate and latest Ofsted inspection report?
  • Have you acted upon the actions and recommendations of the Ofsted Inspector?
  • What qualifications do you have for working with children?
  • Have you done any training this year? If not, why not?
  • How will you help my child settle in to what will be an unfamiliar environment?
  • How are children kept safe and what would happen in an emergency?
  • Can I look around the building to see the rooms and outside play space? If there is no outside play space – how will you make sure my child gets the chance to play outside?
  • Where will my child rest?
  • What kind of food and drink will you give my child and will they be able to choose for themselves?
  • What will my child do all day?
  • Do parents and carers have plenty of opportunities to say what they want for their child?
  • How do you encourage good behaviour?
  • Will my child be with a regular group of children? How old are they? How will their timetable fit in with my child?
  • How will you make sure I know how my child is getting on?
  • Will my child have a main carer?
  • Are you working towards Steps to Quality the local quality award?
  • It might also be a good idea to ask to see the provider’s written policies on health and safety, safeguarding, absence etc.

When you visit possible childcare options, look for these quality pointers. You could add your own as well:

  • Do they have a good or outstanding Ofsted inspection grade?
  • Are the children calm, safe and happy?
  • Do children play and talk together?
  • Are the staff listening to children and answering them carefully?
  • Are the staff friendly and proud of their work?
  • Are the staff joining in with what the children are doing?
  • Are there lots of fun activities planned to help children learn and play?
  • Are there plenty of toys for the children to play with that vary in size, shape and texture?
  • Are the premises clean, well-kept and safe for children with a fun outside play area (or will children go to parks and other places regularly)?
  • If there are other things you want to know, do not be afraid to ask. A good quality provider would expect you to ask questions and will be happy to answer them.
Types of childcare Opening hours Average cost
 Childminders  Vary but flexible  £3.65 per hour*
 Day nurseries  8am to 6pm  £175 full time place*
 Pre-schools and playgroups  Vary  £185 full time place, varies*
 School nursery  Usually 9am to 3.30pm  *
Out of school clubs and breakfast clubs Before or after school

All day during school holidays


Please note: this information is a guide only. Each provider operates and charges as they wish, within the requirements of the EYFS and/or childcare register.

* For all three and four year olds (and some two year olds) up to 15 hours of the care may be funded through the Early Education Funding.

Sometimes finding childcare that meets the needs of you and your child may not be straightforward. This may be because:

  • You need childcare at very short notice
  • You need childcare outside of the normal working hours of most providers (8am to 6pm)
  • You need your child dropping-off or picking-up from school so this limits the number of providers who can meet your needs
  • You do not have your own transport to get your child to the childcare provider so this limits your options
  • Your child has specific needs that not all providers may be able to meet
  • There is a limited number of childcare providers in your area
  • All of the providers you have contacted are full.

The Family Information Service offers a childcare brokerage service for families who are struggling to find childcare for any of the above or any other reason.

We have expert knowledge of the childcare available in all parts of North Lincolnshire and up-to-date vacancy information for many of the providers.

Please contact us if you are having difficulties and we will try and match you with providers who can meet your specific needs.