Childcare and Early Education
Bedford Borough Family Information Service is a 'one stop'
information and advice service for parents, carers, children,
young people and professionals working with families. We run a
freephone helpline 0800 023 2057,
you can email us or complete an
online enquiry form. You can also obtain information on
local services and childcare by visiting our online Early Help
Directory. If you prefer you can arrange to meet us face to
If you are looking for childcare or an early education place for
your child - we can help. We hold information on all registered
childcare in Bedford Borough including:
- Childminders - Registered childminders work in
their own homes caring for other people’s children. Childminders
provide full or part time care. This might be day care,
before/after school and/or holiday care. Childminders are often
prepared to take and collect your child from pre-school, nursery or
nurseries - Day nurseries offer care for children under five
years old, however not all nurseries have the facility to take
babies. They provide fun and learning opportunities on a full
or part-time basis and are usually open all year.
- Pre-schools / Playgroups - Pre-schools /
playgroups are for young children to learn and play in small
groups, often close to their homes. Pre-schools / playgroups
provide sessional care for children aged 2½ - 5 years (some
pre-schools take from 2 years), sessions are about 3 hours in a
morning or afternoon during term time. Some pre-schools are
now offering extended sessions or lunch clubs.
- Local authority maintained nursery schools and
classes - Local authorities provide pre-school education in the
form of nursery schools and nursery classes. A nursery school is a
separate school whilst a nursery class is part of an existing
lower or primary school.
of schools clubs and holiday schemes - Out of school clubs and
holiday schemes provide care for children outside of normal school
hours to play, relax and have fun in groups. Schemes can
provide care before and after school and all day during school
holidays (this will vary from one facility to the next).
We can help parents / carers make the right
childcare choices by:
- providing one to one support, advice and guidance on the
different childcare options available to them either face to face
or over the telephone
- arranging parent / carer visits to various childcare
- showing parents / carers what to look out for when choosing a
suitable place for their child.
We also offer a Childcare Brokerage Service to help parents and
carers struggling to find suitable childcare. This may be
because they work unusual hours or may have a child with an
additional need or disability.