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Types and Benefits of Childcare

Types of Childcare 

Children and families are all different - but you can be sure that there's a childcare choice out there for everyone!

Whether you are looking for group-based childcare, or want one-to-one care for your child, read the information below to find out more about the options open to you.

Registered Day Nurseries offer full day care for babies and children up to the age of 5.

They often provide additional wrap around care with breakfast and
after school clubs for children up to the age of 12 years, making life easier for parents. Day care settings are open Monday to Friday.

Costs may vary and you may be able to get help towards the cost of your childcare. Check if you qualify for Universal Tax Credits.

Childminders are professional childcare providers who are registered with CSSIW providing care and learning opportunities for children as young as 6 weeks to the age of 12 years.

They work within their own home, providing a family environment for the children they care for. Childminders can provide flexible care for families as they

  • look after smaller numbers of children,
  • they can offer individual attention whilst helping the child to develop,learn new skills and make friends.

They can often collect and drop off children from school or other locations.

Registered Pre School Playgroups and Cylchoedd Meithrin provide activities so that children can learn through play with other children, usually within their local community. Cylchoedd Meithrin promote the use of Welsh language.

Pre-school playgroups open for morning or afternoon sessions only, for between 2 and 4 hours, up to 5 days a week. Most children are aged between 2½ and 5 years;
although they may take some children aged 2.

Most pre-schools operate term time only. Preschools can be run privately or voluntarily.

Trained, experienced staff work with the children. Volunteers and parents often help out. They offer a range of activities for children providing play and learning

Children can access a part time school nursery place from the start of the term following their third birthday or the day after their 3rd birthday for a minimum of 10
hours per week, normally the equivalent of a school year providing there is sufficient room in the nursery.

A nanny’s role is looking after every aspect of a child’s wellbeing within the child’s own home. This usually includes:

  • Providing a safe, fun and stimulating environment for
    the children while planning and supporting play and
    educational activities
  • Doing nursery and school runs, and taking children to
    appointments and activities and organising play dates
    with other children
  • Preparing meals and cleaning children's bedrooms,
    bathrooms and playrooms.

A fun filled and stimulating environment for pre-school children and their carers within the local community. An opportunity for parents, carers and grandparents to mix
with others, while their toddler makes friends and experience a range of activities, such as craft, singing and rhyme and physical activities.

The session will normally last for 2 hours, parents stay with the child so there is no need to be registered with CSSIW.

Registered Out of schools clubs often run within or close to local schools.

Out of schools clubs include:

  • After schools clubs – many clubs offer a pick up service from local schools
  • Holiday Clubs – open during school holidays
  • Breakfast clubs – offering children breakfast with friends, before a busy day at school

Out of schools clubs are a relaxed environment where children can take part in activities, do their homework and enjoy time with friends.

Costs for childcare can vary and you may be able to claim help towards the cost of childcare. Check if you qualify for Universal Tax Credit. 

If you need any advice or support in looking for child care or help with financial issues take a look at our website or please contact the Family Information Service.

Benefits of Childcare 

While choosing childcare may be a heart-pounding option for many parents, there is clear evidence children will benefit over the long term.
Childcare offers long-lasting social, emotional and educational benefits for children and their parents/carers.  

Below are some of the benefits of using childcare.

High-quality childcare settings encourage children to develop trusting relationships with their friends, staff, and parents.

In order to learn these skills, the child needs to feel safe with the adults who support them. Childcare staff are trained to develop the child’s emotional skills, interaction and promote an inquisitive mind.

To help develop children’s social skills, they will learn through role modelling how to manage their feelings and interaction with others.

Youngsters get so much from spending time with other children, nothing makes up for the excitement young friendships provide.

Childcare settings support children in understanding the need for structure and routine. It is good for young children to have structure within their day, helping them make friends and play well with others.

Highly trained staff will plan so children hardly notice routine and structure within the childcare setting, however, it provides positive boundaries so each child has fun and enjoys time with others, promoting socialisation and learning.

Childcare settings will work in partnership with parents in promoting potty and toilet training, giving support when they may face a challenging time. Children will often role model their peers and receive support from their friends.

The setting can work with parents, agreeing when toilet training is best started. They will consider the needs of the child, avoiding any other change for example, moving, new siblings, new school, or a new child care setting.

Staff welcome and encourage parents to share concerns they have about their child's development or problems with toilet training. A problem shared is a problem halved.

Childcare settings offer a wide range of games and activities to encourage learning through play to develop an early love of words and numbers.

Childcare staff will plan activities such as woodland walks to find natural resources starting with a letter or mark making their name in mud or sand to develop reading and writing skills.

Children learn best when they are having fun, for example, using wooden blocks to count, collecting rain to measure or matching colours using paint
the activities are all designed to develop a child's understanding of numbers.

Childcare staff are trained to plan activities which are as much fun as possible and put the learning in ways a child enjoys and understands.

Staff working within a childcare setting take time to get to know each child and nurture their curiosity by promoting activities they enjoy.

Youngsters have an active imagination and often use make believe to learn through play. All types of play encourages a curious mind, from jumping in muddy puddles to putting Lego bricks together.

Many parents look to a childcare setting to work alongside them in helping prepare their children for the next steps whether it be nursery schools or schools. If parents are actively involved in their child’s development and learning, the child's learning experience will be more enjoyable and beneficial.

Good quality childcare providers give children the tools they'll need to develop as individuals. Staff are highly trained and take an active role in giving each child the skills needed to develop and grow. Each child is put on their own path to success.

Benefits of a Welsh-Medium Education

There are many advantages and benefits to being bilingual. Studies and research have found that children who speak 2 languages can be more versatile, more creative in their thinking and can learn other languages easier.

Whatever language you speak at home, a Welsh-medium education, starting from a young age, can give your child extra opportunities, experiences and skills.

Useful Resources

Learning Welsh 

There are a variety of courses over different levels for adults in Neath Port Talbot to learn Welsh.