Part 7 of 7 in this guide.
Glossary - Childcare
Your employer gives you vouchers in return for a reduction in your pay - known as a 'salary sacrifice' – to pay towards childcare.
Compulsory school age
The term following your child’s 5th birthday.
Council for Awards in Children’s Care and Education (CACHE)
CACHE is the officially recognised Awarding Body for Early Years, Care and Education, and Playwork. Relevant qualifications awarded by CACHE include:
- Certificate or Diploma in Childcare and Education (this covers working with children under 8, including those with special needs)
- Level 3 Diploma in Home-based Childcare (created with the National Childminding Association, this course gives nannies the skills to develop children from birth to 16)
- BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Early Years (this course covers good practice in a range of childcare settings)
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)] check
Searches criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer.
Early years education
All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early years education for 38 weeks of the year. Learning takes place through play. Based on a 3 term school year, your child is entitled to start their early learning:
|Your child's birthday||Early learning can start|
|1 Apr and 31 Aug||1 Sep following their 3rd birthday or the beginning of the autumn school term|
|1 Sep and 31 Dec||1 Jan following their 3rd birthday or the beginning of the spring school term|
|1 Jan and 31 Mar||1 Apr following their 3rd birthday or the beginning of the summer school term|
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Focuses on the distinct needs of children from birth to five years old.
Extended services activities
Breakfast clubs, out of school clubs (including homework clubs) and childcare.
Families Information Service (FIS)
A free information service for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 19. They can give information and advice to help you find and choose childcare, and also help you find activities for your children locally.
Lets you ask your employer for a new working pattern to help you care for your child.
General Childcare Register
Administered by Ofsted, this is made up of 2 parts:
- the compulsory part - for providers of childcare for children from the end of the EYFS to age 7
- the voluntary part - for providers of care for children aged 8 and over
Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
Independent inspector for children and learners in England.
Mother, father, adopter, legal guardian or foster parent.
Registered or approved childcare
Your childcare provider needs to be registered in one of the following ways:
- registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register (EYR) if your child is under 5 years of age
- registered on the Ofsted Compulsory part of General Childcare Register (GCR) if your child is aged 5 - 7
- registered on the Ofsted Voluntary part of the General Childcare Register if your child is aged 8 or over
If your provider is registered with Ofsted you will need to check with them that they are on the correct register before claiming tax credits for childcare costs.
You can't usually claim tax credits for childcare provided by relatives even if they're registered or approved.
Sure Start Children's Centres
Provide many services for families, including:
- early years education for children
- full day care
- short-term care
- health and family support
- parenting advice
- training and employment advice
You can get professional advice on health and family matters, learn about training and job opportunities or just socialise with other people.
Services available depend on where you live. You can usually:
- see a dentist, dietician or physiotherapist
- visit the ‘stop smoking’ clinic
- get faster access to expert advice, support and short-term breaks if your child has learning difficulties or disabilities
- talk to Citizens Advice
- take parenting classes improve your English if it is not your first language - with someone from your own culture
You can get help with the costs of childcare provided through extended services via the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit.
Childcare options for 0 – 5 year olds
Find out your childcare options for 0-5 year olds.
Childcare options for 5 - 16 year olds
Schools offer extended services for pupils. You will usually need to pay for childcare and some clubs.
What help can I get from my employer for childcare?
If you're working, your employer must give you parental leave. They might offer childcare benefits as part of your package.
Can I get benefits for childcare (childcare tax credits)?
If you work and pay for childcare you may be able to get childcare tax credits to help with the costs.
How do I claim for childcare tax credits?
You can claim up to 7 days before you start using childcare - no earlier. The amount you get depends on your income.
Find out about childcare standards
Ofsted regulates childcare standards. Ofsted-registered providers are checked for safety and suitability for caring for children.
Glossary - Childcare
A glossary of terms about childcare.