|Age of child||Type of childcare that can look after your child|
|2, 3 and 4 years|
Once you have found childcare providers that meet your needs, you can contact them direct to ask whether they have places available and to arrange a visit or meeting to see whether you feel they are suitable for you and your child.
It's always a good idea to take a list of questions (the Family and Childcare Trust have a helpful information available) to ask childcare providers and also have a look at a copy of their most recent Ofsted inspection.
Start looking early, before your child actually needs childcare, and don't feel under pressure to take the first provider you find. Take your time, speak to more than one provider and make a shortlist. You may not always find a provider that meets all your needs, but it's important to find the best fit you can.
Once you've made your decision, there should be a formal contract for you to sign confirming what you've agreed.
Free childcare is available for 2 to 4 year olds. Find out more about free childcare.
Parents or carers who are looking for out of school childcare may like to read the Wraparound holiday and childcare guidance issued to schools by the Department for Education in 2016.