Skip to main content

Choosing and finding childcare

Finding childcare

Plymouth has a wide range of childcare providers that look after children. Get advice on choosing childcare that suits you and your child or call the Early Years Team on 01752 307450.

Types of childcare

Anyone that cares for children under the age of eight for more than two hours a day in England must register with Ofsted unless they are exempt - check a childcare provider's Ofsted inspection report.

Day nurseries

Provide full and part time care for children from birth to five years. Some nurseries also offer an out of school service for older children.

Pre-schools or playgroups

Provide sessional care - usually two sessions a day, sometimes with a lunch club - for children between the ages of two and five. They normally open term time only.

Breakfast, after school and holiday clubs

Mainly for children aged four to twelve years.

  • Breakfast clubs are usually held at school and open in the morning during term time. Children can have their breakfast at the club before going on to school.
  • After school clubs are usually held at school but can be based away from (but close to) school sites. They're generally open from the end of the school day until about 6pm term time only.
  • Holiday clubs are run during most school holidays and are normally offered by an out of school provider.

Registered childminders

Work in their home and look after children either all day or before and after school. Some childminders will take children to and from school.


Provide occasional short-term care for children under eight for four hours or less each day while parents are occupied in an activity (such as education, leisure, shopping) on the same premises nearby.

Independent schools

Provide nursery education to children aged three and four. Independent schools are owned privately and registered with the Department for Education and Skills, but make their own arrangements on staff numbers, qualifications and curriculum.

Home child carers

Care for children from birth to 17 years in the child's own home. Can look after the children of up to two families, wholly or mainly at the home of one or both families (such as a nanny share).

Worried about a childcare provider

If you're worried about your child's care, speak to your childcare provider or call us on 01752 307450.

If you're still not happy you can contact Ofsted who will investigate. Email or call the Ofsted enquiry line on 0300 1231231. You can also contact Ofsted if you have concerns about a provider that's not registered.