Choosing childcare

Information and advice to help you find a childcare provider that is right for your child.

How to find childcare

Childcare places are available at day nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, nursery schools and some primary schools. You can find out about the different options on our Types of childcare page.

We hold details of all the childcare providers in Newham that have been registered with Ofsted. This means that they have been approved to care for children. You can ask for a list of our approved childcare providers by emailing

We also have separate lists of approved providers for free early education which you can find on the free early education for three and four-year olds and free education for two year-olds pages.

If you know the name or address or a childcare provider, you can search for them on the Ofsted website. Here you will find further details about the provider including their latest Ofsted inspection report.


What to consider when choosing childcare

Before you start

Before you start to look for childcare, think about the needs of both you and your child. Consider the type of environment where your child will be happy, but also what would meet your requirements in terms of quality, cost and location.
Next, call us for a list of childcarers in your area. Choose a selection and call them to make an appointment to visit. Remember schools and pre-schools may only be open during term time.


Take your child with you to meet potential childcarers to see how he or she gets on with the staff and surroundings.

During your visit make sure you ask lots of questions such as:
  • are staff members happy and welcoming and do they engage with the children? 
  • does it seem like a fun environment where your child can play and learn safely?
  • what activities will your child be doing there?
  • can children play outside and will they be taken on trips?
  • how do they cater for dietary and religious requirements?
  • how will your child be supported if he or she has special education needs or a disability?
  • what was your last Ofsted inspection outcome?
  • does the childcarer provide free early education for two to four year olds?
  • what qualifications, training and experience the staff have?
  • what is the staff turnover like?
  • what hours can the childcarer offer you?
  • if you are choosing a free early education provider, can you take up additional (charged for) childcare if needed?
  • what are the settling in arrangements for your child?

Before you decide

Don't be afraid to go for a second visit if you are unsure. Some childcarers offer a trial before you sign a formal agreement so you can check it is right for your child.

Make your choice 

Be aware that many childcare providers have waiting lists and you may have to put your child's name down at more than one.

Once you have made your decision, ask the childcarer what documents you must bring with you to register. These can vary between providers.

If you are choosing a free early education place for your two year old, you must also bring a printed copy of your eligibility confirmation.

Back to top

Contact us

  • Children's Services Commissioning
    London Borough of Newham
    Newham Dockside
    1000 Dockside Road
    E16 2QU

    020 3373 0980

    Email us