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 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

  2. Childcare out of school hours

    Childcare for your children before and after school - after-school clubs, breakfast clubs, homework clubs, childminders

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. Check early years qualifications

    • Detailed guide
    • Department for Education
  2. 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
See all guidance and regulation

News and communications

Policy and engagement

  1. Surveys on childcare and early years in England
  2. 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
  3. Early years providers: how to respond to changing needs

    • Department for Education
    • Case study
See all policy and engagement


  1. Children’s services omnibus

    • Department for Education
    • Research
  2. 30 hours free childcare: eligibility codes issued and validated

    • Department for Education
    • Official statistics
  3. FOI: early years dataset as at 31 December 2017

    • Ofsted
    • Statistical data set
  4. Childcare providers and inspections as at 31 December 2017

    • Ofsted
    • Official statistics
  5. 30 hours free childcare: spring term 2018

    • Department for Education
    • Official statistics
See all transparency