When it comes to choosing childcare there are lots of options to think about. If you would like to speak to somebody about your options or find out what's available in your area then please contact York Family Information Service on 01904 554444.

Childcare options

Good quality childcare and early education is not only good for children; it gives parents more freedom to work, study or train for a job too. But juggling work and bringing up children isn't easy. If you're struggling with this, you're not alone.

There are lots of different options to consider when choosing childcare. It's up to you as a mum, dad or carer to choose what you feel is right for your family and child. When choosing childcare, try and give yourself enough time to visit several possible options to get a good idea of what may suit your child. It can be a good idea to take your child with you to see how they interact with staff and their reactions to the setting. Try to go when children are there so you can see if they are settled, confident and involved in a variety of activities.

All childcare providers are registered with Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) if they operate more than 2 hours per day. This means that they are inspected against a set of national standards. You can access a copy of a childcare providers latest report through the Ofsted website. You can also ask a provider if you want to see a copy of their latest inspection report.

To find out more about what is available, visit our Childcare Options page.

Finding Childcare in York

To find Ofsted registered childcare in York, you can use our Search Directory to search for childcare or you can get a personalised list from Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS) by calling 01904 554444 or emailing

If you are looking for childcare outside of York you can use the Family and Childcare Trust Childcare Finder. This website links together all of the Family Information Services in England to make it quick and easy to find childcare wherever you live.

Help with Childcare Costs

Funded Childcare for Two Year Olds

  • For all families in Englandreceiving some forms of support
  • With 2-year-old children
  • 15 hours childcare or early education for 38 weeks
  • A total of 570 hours per year, that you can use flexibly with one or more childcare provider
  • Some providers will allow you  to ‘stretch’ the hours over 52 weeks, using fewer hours per week

To find out about funded childcare places for eligible two year olds visit

Funded Childcare for Three and Four Year Olds

  • 15 hours childcare or early education for 38 weeks for all families in England
  • 30 hours childcare or early education for working families in England

To find out about the Funded Entitlement (Early Years education and childcare) for all three and four year olds visit

Tax Free Childcare

  • For working families, including the self-employed, in the UK
  • With children under 12 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2, up to £2,000 per child per year - that's up to £500 every three months

To find out about Tax Free Childcare visit

Tax Credits for Childcare

  • For working families, in the UK
  • With children under 16 (or under 17 if disabled)
  • 70% of childcare costs, up to a cap

To find out about Tax Credits for Childcare visit

Flexible Working

Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, eg having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - not just parents and carers. Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible.

To find out about Flexible Working visit

Shared Parental Leave

You and your partner may be able to get Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) if you’re having a baby or adopting a child. You can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between you. You need to share the pay and leave in the first year after your child is born or placed with your family. You can use SPL to take leave in blocks separated by periods of work, or take it all in one go. You can also choose to be off work together or to stagger the leave and pay.

To find out more about Shared Parental Leave visit

Choosing Childcare for Children with SEN

When it comes to childcare for a disabled child, a lot of the considerations are the same as for any other child. However there are a few extra things to think about, such as training or a child's medical needs. This short guide will take you through all of the key things you need to know about arranging childcare for a disabled child.