Finding childcare

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – childcare for key workers

We are helping to find childcare for vulnerable children and children of 'key workers'. Key workers are those who work in health, social care, education, food and other necessary goods, local and national government, public safety, national security, transport, utilities, communications, financial services or other key public services. For a full list, go to GOV.UK: maintaining educational provision.

If you are a key worker and need help finding childcare, email our School Effectiveness team. For all other childcare enquiries, go to our childcare web pages.

Childcare options

There are a range of registered and non-registered childcare options in Thurrock. You can use our Ask Thurrock service to search for childcare.

Type Description
Childminders A childminder is someone who cares for your child in their own home. This means that they may provide full day care, part time care, or out-of-school care. The Family Information Service can put together a tailor-made list of registered childminders to meet your needs
Day nursery A day nursery provides both full and part time care for babies and children until the age of 5. Day nurseries provide care all year round.
Pre-school playgroups Pre-school playgroups offer sessional play and educational session either in the morning, afternoon or both. The sessions are usually for around 3 hours, although some pre-school playgroups offer longer sessions including a lunch club.

Maintained school nurseries

Maintained nurseries are nursery classes in school. Maintained nurseries provide care either in the morning, the afternoon or both, usually for 3 hours. These sessions only run during term time. They provide education and care for children from 3 years old until they are 5. Attending a maintained nursery does not give your child any preferential treatment in getting a place at that school.

Out of school clubs

Out of school clubs provide sessional care for children in full time school. They can be breakfast clubs, after school clubs or both.

Type Description
Breakfast clubs Breakfast clubs run before school, where parents or carers drop children off at the club and then club staff take the children to school.
After school clubs After schools clubs run straight after the school day, where club staff will pick the children up from school and parents or carers then pick the children up from the club.
Holiday schemes Holiday clubs offer childcare during the school holidays.

Non-registered childcare

Type Description
Home childcare (nanny) Home childcare is when you employ someone to care for your children at home. They don't need to hold qualifications. Anyone offering home childcare can choose to register on the Voluntary Ofsted Childcare Register.
Parent and toddler groups Parent and toddler groups are not childcare. They are drop-in sessions for children and their carers. As parents stay with their children, these groups do not have to be registered with Ofsted. Your local children’s centre may offer a parent and toddler group.

Activity or club-based childcare

Activity or club-based care, such as sports or leisure activities, does not need to be registered with Ofsted. However, activity-based care that is provided for a child for over 2 consecutive hours can be registered on the Voluntary Ofsted Childcare register.

You can get information and advice on childcare choices from our Family Information Service.