Childcare and early years

Finding childcare, running a childcare business, financial support, data collection, local authority obligations.


  1. Find free early education and childcare

    Check if your council offers free early education and childcare

  2. Find an Ofsted inspection report

    Search for Ofsted inspection reports for childminders and childcare providers, schools, colleges, further education providers, children and families services

  3. Find a nursery school place

    Apply for a place in a nursery school for children under 5 through your local council

  1. Find before and after school and holiday clubs

    Ask your council about before and after school clubs and holiday play schemes run by a school, private or voluntary organisation

  2. Find a registered childminder

    Contact your local council to find a registered childminder - Family Information Service, early years education, childcare and family support in your area

See all services

Guidance and regulation

  1. Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS)
  2. Early years foundation stage

    The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5

  3. Unpaid parental leave

    Employer and employee guide to unpaid parental leave - eligibility, how much leave can be taken and notice periods

  1. Complain about a school or childminder

    Complain about a school or childminder - complaints process, when to complain to the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency or Ofsted

    • Guide
  2. Check early years qualifications

    • Detailed guide
    • Department for Education
See all guidance and regulation

News and communications

  1. Children and Families Minister addresses ADCS conference

    • Department for Education
    • Speech
  2. Education Secretary makes inaugural speech to children's services sector

    • Department for Education
    • Speech
  3. Reduce school holidays stress with help for childcare costs

    • Department for Education, HM Treasury, and HM Revenue & Customs
    • News story
  4. Amanda Spielman at the Pre-school Learning Alliance annual conference

    • Ofsted
    • Speech
See all news and communications

Policy and engagement

  1. Childcare workers: changes to disqualification arrangements
  2. Surveys on childcare and early years in England
  3. Early education and childcare workforce: level 2 qualifications
  1. Supporting early years providers to run sustainable businesses

    • Department for Education
    • Policy paper
  2. Early years workforce strategy

    • Department for Education
    • Policy paper
See all policy and engagement


  1. 30 hours free childcare: eligibility codes issued and validated

    • Department for Education
    • Official statistics
  2. Exploring Ofsted inspection data with Data View

    • Ofsted
    • Research
  3. Education provision: children under 5 years of age, January 2018

    • Department for Education
    • National statistics
  4. FOI: early years dataset as at 31 March 2018

    • Ofsted
    • Statistical data set
  5. Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 March 2018

    • Ofsted
    • Official statistics
See all transparency