Most families with children under the age of five will use a number of different types of childcare to meet their needs and will access various types of care as their child grows.
Basic details of the most common types of care for children under five are given below, more detailed information is given in the which includes suggestions for questions to ask, what to look for and quality pointers.
Full details of childcare services in your local area are available on our Find my nearest childcare providers page. The Care Inspectorate provides information on gradings and inspection reports for registered services.
Funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC)
From August 2020, three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds are entitled to 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare per year, view the Strong Start places for 2 year olds and Funded early learning and childcare for 3-5 year olds - 2023-2024 pages for further information. There are 50 local authority early learning and childcare settings, and more than 30 private and voluntary sector childcare services and childminders working in partnership with the local authority to offer funded ELC places covering the Perth and Kinross area.
A childminder looks after children in the childminder's own home and can often provide very flexible care. There are currently 124 registered childminders in Perth & Kinross most of whom look after children from a few months old up to primary school age.
If you might be interested in becoming a childminder yourself, see details of Childminder training courses run by the council's Childcare Strategy Team.
Nurseries usually provide care for young children across the age range birth to five years. There are different types of nurseries with different ways of operating so it is essential that parents and carers look for one that best suits the needs of both child and family. There are 40 private and voluntary sector nurseries across the Perth & Kinross area.
Wraparound Care services offer extended care for three and four year olds after nursery class sessions and in school holidays. There are three Wraparound Care services based at schools in Crieff, Luncarty and Perth, see Kids Clubs and wraparound care services for further details.
Playgroups provide sessions of play and learning for children aged between two and five. There are eight playgroups in Perth & Kinross, set up and run by parents or voluntary groups. Although playgroups are not usually geared to the schedules of working parents some families combine a childminder with a playgroup to give their child a range of experiences.
Parent & Toddler Groups
Parent and Toddler groups provide social opportunities for babies, toddlers, parents and carers to meet in an informal atmosphere. Parents and carers remain with and are responsible for children throughout the session, so groups are not regulated by the Care Inspectorate.
If you attend or are involved in running a Parent & Toddler group we would be grateful if you could complete this updated information/reopening service form for the Information Service to allow us to add to the Find my nearest childcare providers search tool, and make it available to other families who might be interested in attending.