A crèche provides supervised childcare for occasional limited periods of time. They enable parents and carers to participate in adult education courses, training or leisure activities nearby.

Crèches may operate all week on a sessional basis, but will usually cater for different children at each session. Crèches cater for children of all different ages.

If they meet for more than six times a year, crèches must be registered with Ofsted. They are also required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Things to consider

  • Do you have to book a place in advance?
  • Is the crèche registered?
  • Does it have current public liability insurance?
  • Is the crèche setting suitable for children? Is there natural light, is it warm?
  • How will they contact you in while you are in class, a meeting or shopping?
  • Are the staff welcoming and helpful? Do they respond sensitively when children are upset?
  • Are children prevented from leaving the premises undetected? Are gates and fences secure?
  • Are there plenty of toys, books and play equipment, including dressing-up clothes and home comer play for children's use?
  • Do the activities take into account the children's ages, cultural backgrounds, and any special needs?
  • Do the toys, activities and the staff show positive attitudes to children of both sexes and of all races, religious cultures and disabilities?
  • Do staff know and understand fire drill procedures?

What information will they need from you?

  • Where you are in the building
  • Name, age of child, any pet names
  • Any special diet, allergies or health problems
  • Is your child well, ready for a sleep? Have they eaten recently or are they hungry?
  • Is there anything your child particularly likes or dislikes playing with?
  • Anything that will help your child to settle

What crèches are available in Southampton?

Search our childcare database, or for information on childcare outside of Southampton, contact your local authority.