The different types of childcare available, how to find childcare and what to consider.

Childcare gives children opportunities to play, socialise and learn.

Childcare settings include:

  • nurseries, preschools and playgroups
  • registered childminders
  • children's centres
  • nursery schools and classes

All providers should have a SEND Offer, which describes the support they can give children with special educational needs and disabilities.

When you're looking for childcare and visiting your local providers, ask them about their SEND offer.

In Bristol, you can contact the Family Information Service (FIS): or 0117 357 4192 who can help you find childcare providers to suit your family's needs.

Nurseries, preschools and playgroups

There are a range of nurseries, preschools and playgroups across Bristol that offer day care and early education 

Registered childminders

A childminder provides a secure and safe environment for children to be looked after, usually within their own home. 

Some registered childminders complete additional training so they can support children with SEND. 

Children's centres

Children's centres provide a range of early years and childcare services to local families, all year round.  They provide services like:

  • day care and early education
  • family health services including ante-natal and post-natal care
  • parenting and family support services
  • support for children with additional or special educational needs
  • outreach services such as, home visits and community support benefits advice

Some Children's Centres offer specific stay and play groups for children with SEND.

Find your local Children's Centre.

You can find out more about childcare in Bristol on the Early years and childcare pages on our main website.