What to Look for When Choosing a Childminder or Nursery

Updated: May 9, 2021

Here's how to find childcare near you

When it comes to childcare near you, the numerous options available can seem overwhelming.

Two popular choices for childcare are childminding and nurseries.

So let's get started on how you can find the right type of childcare for you and your child.

The difference between a nursery and childminding

Before getting into more detail, let’s break down the difference between the two terms.

Childminders are “Ofsted registered professional day carers who look after children in their own homes.” The added benefit of childminding is that the service offered is unique to the needs of your family.

Nurseries care for children aged from three to five years. They provide preparation for your child before they begin “big school” or primary school.

While all nurseries vary slightly in curriculum, Lucky Beans Childminder care offers academic and social preparation for your child before they enter school. This gives them a wonderful and helpful head-start because going from home to primary school can be quite an overwhelming adjustment for many children.

What is the cost of a nursery vs. childminding?

In the UK, a registered childminder costs on average £164 a week in London for 25 hours and a child under 2. Day nursery costs £180 a week for, again, 25 hours for a child age 2-5. These prices are significantly better than a part-time nanny which ranges from £250-£400 per week including tax and NI contributions (Family and Childcare Trust, 2021).

As a boutique nursery and childminder Lucky Beans provides an excellent care to child ratio so there is always plenty of hands on care for your little one. At Lucky Beans, childcare vouchers and tax-free childcare are welcome.

How to find the right childminder

Toddlers at childcare Lucky Beans

There are lots of options when choosing a childminder or nursery. When finding a childminder, safety and care should always be a number one priority. Here is how to check your nursery or childminder is the right, safe choice:

1. What qualifications should they have?

Childminders and nurseries are regulated through Ofsted. All childminders and nurseries in England must be registered with Ofsted and must join the Childcare register or the Early Years Register.

After applying for registration, the childminder will receive a visit from Ofsted to ensure the space is suitable for children. The Ofsted inspector assesses the childminder as well as the environment to ensure the welfare requirements are met for your child. It is a good idea to check the inspection reports of your childminder or nursery.

Lucky Beans’ carers have a childcare philosophy that incorporates the entire EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum.

To find a childminder or nurseries most recent Ofsted report, visit: Nurseries should make clear on their website their affiliation with Ofsted.

Ofsted logo

Childminders must show you their registration certificate. The childminder’s registration number can be entered into the Ofsted website to view the childminder’s latest inspection report as well as any complaints against them. This is an important way to ensure the safety of your child in the hands of a childminder. Childminders should also all be registered with pediatric first-aid.

3. How to find a childminder near you

“How do I find a childminder near me?” This is one of the most common questions asked by parents who do not want to commute hours away to find an appropriate childminder. An excellent way to find a safe and suitable childminder is through searching Ofsted registered nurseries and childminders by postcode.

There is an excellent website provided by the government at: Here you can enter your postcode and find Ofsted registered childminders in your area.

If you are in South West London, Lucky Beans Childcare is Ofsted registered and provides locations in Balham, Tooting, Norbury and Streatham.

Childminders in South West London - Lucky Beans Childcare

How many hours are recommended, and what hours are offered?

All Nurseries and Childminders will differ slightly with the hours that they offer.

Childminders can provide care on evenings, weekends and even holidays. At Lucky Beans childminding, a typical baby day begins at 7:30 as you drop your child off to head to work and ends at 6:30-7:30 with free play and sing along.

At a Lucky Beans Nursery (also called “Growing Beans”) our fully trained staff, look after children from 7:30am-6:30pm Monday-Friday, minimum 10 hours a day. We are flexible about these timings – our intake is small so there are always plenty of us to go round. We recommend ten hours a day for our nursery children because it encourages a stable environment, room for settling time, nap time and curriculum to better prepare them for big school.

For childminding, we are open to discussing various hours with you to suit your needs.

Questions you should ask your childminder before you get started:

What questions could I ask a childminder before I get started?

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